A multigated acquisition (MUGA) scan is a cardiology imaging test that provides detailed information about blood flow through the heart and how well the heart pumps during rest.
To perform the test, the patient’s blood is labelled with a radioactive tracer. A SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) camera detects the radiation released by the tracer to produce images of the heart.
- A nuclear technologist will explain the test to you and answer any questions you may have.
- You will receive an injection in the vein of one arm with a compound which prepares the blood for the tracer.
- Approximately 30 minutes later, a blood sample will be drawn from you to mix with a radioactive tracer. Your radioactive blood will then be re-injected. You should not feel any effects from these injections.
- You will be brought into the scanner room and asked to lie on the scanning platform or table, which is part of the machine. Adhesive electrodes will be applied to your chest to monitor your heart rhythm. The sites on your chest will be cleaned with alcohol and shaved if necessary.
- The SPECT camera will be positioned close to your chest for imaging and a series of pictures will be taken for about 30 minutes. You will be asked to lie very still during this time to ensure that the images are clear.
- The nuclear technologist will process the images and data. The data will be reviewed by a physician. A report will be sent to the doctor(s) involved in your care.
- There is no specific preparation required for a MUGA. You can eat and drink as usual prior to the test. Take your usual medications unless otherwise directed by your physician.
- There are no restrictions after the MUGA.
- When you come to the Heart Institute, please check in with central registration in the front lobby. Then proceed to the S-Level and wait in the waiting room for your name to be called.
- The MUGA takes about two hours to complete.
- If you have any questions prior to your MUGA, please call 613-696-7066, Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.