Gated Blood Pool Scan (MUGA)

What is a MUGA scan?
Radionuclide ventriculography (RVG, RNV) or radionuclide angiography (RNA) is often referred to as a MUGA (multiple-gated acquisition) scan. It is a type of nuclear imaging test. This scan shows how well your heart is pumping.

Why do people have a MUGA scan?
Your doctor may want to check how well your heart pumps blood. A MUGA scan helps your doctor learn more about why you may be having:

  • Chest Pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness

During the MUGA scan, a small amount of a radioactive substance or tracer (called a radionuclide) is put into your blood. The tracer attaches to your red blood cells. A gamma camera takes pictures of your heart. This lets doctors see the blood inside your heart’s pumping chambers (ventricles). The pictures are taken at the same time during each heartbeat (ECG-gated). The pictures show if areas of your heart muscle aren’t contracting normally and show how well your heart pumps blood. These tests are often done while you’re resting.   
What are the risks of a MUGA scan?
The radioactive substance you receive is safe for most people. Your body will dispose of the radioactive substance through your kidneys within 24 hours. If you’re pregnant or think you might be pregnant, or if you’re a nursing mother, don’t have this test. 

What happens during my MUGA scan?

  • During the scan, the technician places electrodes on your chest, arms and legs. The disks have wires that hook to an electrocardiograph machine to record your ECG. The ECG tracks your heartbeat during the test. 
  • An intravenous line (IV) is put into a vein in your arm.  For a “resting” scan, you will lie on a table with a special camera above it. The camera will take many pictures of your heart while you’re resting. 
  • The tests take between 1 and 2 hours.

 What happens after a MUGA scan?

  • You can go back to your normal activities right away.
  • Drink plenty of water to flush the radioactive material from your body.
  • The doctor will call you with the results of the test.


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