Cardiac Blood Pool Scan
How It Is Done continued...
If you are having a multigated
acquisition (MUGA) scan, a blood sample may be taken and the tracer added to
it, and then it will be reinjected into your vein.
camera will take pictures as the radioactive tracer moves through your
bloodstream and into your heart. It is important not to move while the scan is
The camera does not produce any radiation, so you are
not exposed to any additional radiation while the scan is being done. You will
need to hold still during each view, which may take up to 5 minutes. You may be
- Change position for each different
- Do some exercise between scans to see how well your
heart functions after the stress of exercise.
- Take nitroglycerin to
see how well your heart responds to the medicine.
The radioactive tracer is designed to attach to your
blood cells, which takes 20 to 30 minutes. You will then have to wait 2 to 4
hours until the tracer is completely absorbed by your
red blood cells. During that time, you may have to
stay at the test center. Some test centers may allow you to leave and come back
when it is time for your scan.
Testing usually takes 10 minutes
to an hour, depending on which studies are done. MUGA scanning may require 2 to
3 hours to obtain all the needed views.
After the test
Once your scan is complete, you
usually will be able to leave the testing room right away. You may have to wait
at the test center until all of your scan images have been reviewed. If you
moved during the scan and the images turned out blurry, the scan may have to be
Drink lots of water and urinate frequently after your
scan to make sure that the tracer flushes completely out of your body. It takes
a day or two for the tracer to be completely eliminated.
How It Feels
You may feel nothing at all from the
needle puncture when the tracer is injected, or you may feel a brief sting or
pinch as the needle goes through the skin. Otherwise, a cardiac blood pool scan
is usually painless. You will not feel anything from the operation of the gamma
camera. You may find it hard to remain still during the scan. The
examination table may feel cool. Ask for a pillow or blanket to make yourself
as comfortable as possible before the scan begins.