Gated blood pool
imaging creates pictures which provide information about your
heart, including: size, shape, wall motion characteristics, and
overall pumping efficiency . The pictures can be used to determine
your "ejection fraction", which is the percentage of blood pumped
out of a filled ventricle (lower heart chamber) with each beat.
This imaging study
may be performed while you are at rest or while you exercise.
Both resting and exercise imaging require two intravenous injections.
The first injection prepares the red blood cells; the second injection
consists of a radioactive tracer (technetium), which labels the
red cells. This small amount of tracer enables the doctor to see
pictures of your heart.
This procedure is also
known as multi-unit gated acquisition (MUGA).
has my doctor ordered this test for me?
The reasons for this test vary. For example, you may have been
diagnosed with heart failure or heart valve disease. You might
have had a recent heart attack. This test provides important information
which will help your doctor determine the best course of treatment
is a gated blood pool pharmacological test?
If your doctor has ordered an exercise MUGA, but you are unable
to exercise, you will be given a drug which mimics the effect
of exercise. Some people experience temporary side effects to
this drug, which include: headache, nausea, or flushing (after
a minute). These feelings only last 5 to 10 minutes.
this procedure dangerous?
Whenever the heart is stressed with exercise or a drug, there
is a possible risk involved depending on the underlying problem.
The risk of severe complications is extremely small. There is
minimal radiation exposure which is comparable to several common
preparation is required?
If you suspect you are pregnant, discuss this with you referring
physician prior to scheduling the test.
gated blood pool imaging requires no preparation. Exercise gated
blood pool imaging has the following requirements:
eat after midnight of the day before the test. If you have
diabetes, ask your physician what you may eat. If your appointment
is late in the day, you may be allowed to have a light breakfast.
comfortable clothing and shoes, suitable for exercise.
happens during the test?
A technologist will first clean three areas on your chest, and
then place three small self-sticking electrodes on those areas.
He/she will attach them by leads to a nuclear imaging computer.
Then the nuclear technologist will give you two injections.
will lie down on a special bed. A nuclear camera will surround
you, taking pictures of your heart. Some people feel a little
claustrophobic. This part of the test may last for 20 minutes.
you are having a test at rest, the technologist will take three
pictures of your heart.
the rest portion of the test, you may go on to the exercise portion
of this test.
the exercise portion, you will lie on your back and place your
feet into pedals. Then while remaining in a supine position, you
will pedal as if on a bicycle. Multiple images will be taken.
A clinician is usually present for this part of the test.
long does the test take?
Gated blood pool studies at rest require approximately one hour.
Exercise studies usually take an hour and a half.
happens after the test?
You will be free to resume your daily activities. It is
usual to resume taking regular medications.
You will be able to drive yourself home. You will still have radioactivity
inside you, but you cannot transmit this radiation to your loved
ones. Your urine will be temporarily radioactive. The radioactivity
will dissipate completely within two days.
my doctor notify me of the results?
Your doctor will receive a report and discuss the findings with
you. Based on these findings, he/she will determine if additional
testing is required.