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Summary —Predictions of the potential for recovery of renal function in obstructive uropathy are difficult and unreliable. 99mTechnetium DMSA accumulates in tubule cells and has been proposed as a marker of the tubular mass. However, in 34 patients with obstructive uropathy we have found no correlation between the pre-operative scintigraphic appearances of the obstructed kidney and the post-operative result. Reduced or absent DMSA uptake does not necessarily mean irreversible renal damage.