This scan is used to learn how well the heart is pumping blood around the body.
The procedure is useful for assessing if there is any damage to the main pumping chambers of the heart after a heart attack, or in other heart disorders.
A small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein in the arm, outlining the heart chambers and blood vessels. This allows the amount of blood pumped from the heart to be measured. The test can show how different segments of the heart wall are working.
The procedure takes about 60 minutes. You can eat and drink as normal beforehand.
You will be asked to lie on a table connected to an ECG with a special camera directly above your chest.
You will have two injections – one at the beginning of the test and another after about 15–20 minutes. The first injection prepares your red blood cells for the second, which consists of a small amount of radioactive compound, mixed with small amounts of your own blood. There are normally no side effects from the injection.
The camera then records images of the blood passing through your heart.
After the test
You do not need to take any special precautions after this test. The results will be sent to your local doctor.
This information was first published in You and Your Heart - an education booklet for patients, families and friends. © 2006 Northern Sydney Central Coast Area Health Service