For more patient information on MUGA scans
What is a MUGA scan?
A MUGA (multiple-gated acquisition) scan is a type of nuclear imaging scan which measures how well your heart pumps blood with each heartbeat.
A MUGA scan uses a small amount of a radioactive tracer (called a radionuclide) and a gamma camera to take pictures of your heart as it pumps blood. The test is called ‘multi-gated’ because a gamma camera takes pictures at specific times during each heartbeat. The pictures show if areas of your heart muscle aren’t contracting normally and how well your heart pumps blood. The test also measures your ejection fraction, which is the amount of blood pumped out of the heart during each heartbeat (contraction).
A MUGA scan helps your practitioner learn more about why you may be having:
- Chest pain (angina)
- Trouble breathing
Your practitioner may request this scan if other tests showed you may have a heart problem.
What to expect
- During the test, an MIC technologist will place small electrodes on your chest. These electrodes will be hooked up to an electrocardiograph (ECG) machine to track your heartbeat during the test.
- The technologist will administer the radionuclide through an intravenous line (IV) in your arm. You will lie on an exam bed with a special camera above it. The camera will take pictures of your heart.
- The tests take between 1 and 2 hours
- You can go back to your normal activities right away. Drink plenty of water to flush the radioactive material from your body.
- An MIC radiologist will review the scans and provide a complete report to your practitioner within 24 hours.