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99mTechnetium dimercaptosuccinic acid scintigraphy in the diagnosis of acute pyelonephritis in rats


The use of99mtechnetium dimercaptosuccinic acid (99mTc-DMSA) scintigraphy for the early diagnosis of pyelonephritis has been evaluated in a study performed on adolescent female Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to an ascendingEscherichia coli infection. The rats were studied with DMSA scintigraphy either before and 5 days after the infection or 5 and 28 days after the infection. One group of rats received anti-microbial treatment during days 6–11. After the last DMSA scintigraphy the rats were sacrificed and the kidneys prepared for light microscopy study. Kidney morphology was normal and DMSA uptake was high and homogeneous in all control rats. The majority of the rats exposed toE. coli developed inflammatory changes, on light microscopy which extended to various degrees in the renal parenchyma. Five days after the infection the DMSA uptake was consistently reduced, if the inflammatory lesion on light microscopy involved more than 15% of the renal cortex. Twenty-eight days after infection the inflammatory changes were less extensive than at 5 days. The DMSA uptake had usually improved. At this time, however, areas of decreased DMSA uptake could be detected even if the light microscopy changes involved less than 15% of the parenchyma. Microscopical lesions were less frequent and less extensive in the treated than in the untreated rats. The complete return to normal of previously abnormal DMSA uptake was only observed in treated rats. In a few untreated rats cortical scars had formed by day 28. The scars appeared in areas with decreased DMSA uptake at 5 days. The results imply that DMSA scintigraphy is a valuable method for the early diagnosis and for the localization of pyelonephritis.

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Wikstad, I., Hannerz, L., Karlsson, A. et al. 99mTechnetium dimercaptosuccinic acid scintigraphy in the diagnosis of acute pyelonephritis in rats. Pediatr Nephrol 4, 331–334 (1990).

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Key words

  • Experimental pyelonephritis
  • Scintigraphy
  • Renal inflammatory changes
  • Escherichia coli