A MUGA scan, or Multiple Gated Acquisition scan, is an imaging study that checks to see if your heart is pumping blood properly.
Radio-labeled red blood cells that are injected into the blood emit radioactive energy that a camera can detect, creating an outline of the heart's chambers and eventually a movie of the beating heart.
At UT Southwestern Medical Center, we use the MUGA scan to measure heart functionality and to differentiate between functional and nonfunctional heart tissue in cases where a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) or angioplasty may be needed.
Your physician will give specific instructions before the MUGA scan. You should not eat after midnight before the study. Allergies will be discussed, as you will receive an injection of a radioactive substance. Your doctor will discuss medication use prior to the study.
A technician will take you to a special injection room, where red blood cells that are labeled with radioactive technetium-99 will be given through an IV. You’ll wait for 30 to 90 minutes for the substance to accumulate in the body’s tissue, while you rest quietly. The scanning begins after this rest period.
The gamma camera is pointed at the heart, gathering low-level radiation emissions and creating an outline image of blood flow through the heart.
Once the scan is complete, you’ll be done. There are usually no restrictions to daily activities. You should drink plenty of fluids to wash out the radioactive substance. It generally takes a few days for the results to be interpreted.
To schedule an appointment for a MUGA scan at UT Southwestern's facilities in Dallas or for more information about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.