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Heart Disease Health Center

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Cardiac Blood Pool Scan

How To Prepare continued...

You may be asked not to eat or drink for a few hours before the test. You should not have any caffeine or smoke for 4 to 6 hours before the test.

If testing will include exercise, you should wear comfortable shoes and clothing.

Many medicines may affect the results of this test. Be sure to tell your health professional about all the nonprescription and prescription medicines you take.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).

How It Is Done

A cardiac blood pool scan usually is done in a hospital by a radiology or nuclear medicine technician. Most people do not have to stay overnight in the hospital.

Before the test

You will need to remove any jewelry that might interfere with the scan. You may need to take off all or most of your clothes. You will be given a cloth or paper gown to use during the test.

During the test

You will lie on an examination table beneath the gamma camera. Electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) electrodes are attached to your chest so that the electrical signal of your heart can also be detected. Then the camera, which is a round metal instrument about 3 ft (1 m) wide, will be positioned close to your body. If you are cold or uncomfortable lying on the table, ask the technician for a pillow or blanket. The camera may be positioned in different places across your chest to record different views of your heart.

The technician cleans the site on your arm where the radioactive tracer will be injected. An elastic band, or tourniquet, is then wrapped around your upper arm to temporarily stop the flow of blood through the veins in your arm. This makes it easier to put the needle into a vein properly. A small amount of the radioactive tracer is then injected, usually into a vein on the inside of your elbow.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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