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Reasons and Method of Cardiac Blood Pool Scan Testing

Submitted on March 27, 2012

A cardiac blood pool scan is a non invasive test. This test is a measure that indicates the efficiency of the left ventricle.  This test employs a mildly radioactive marker to observe the functioning of the left ventricle of the heart. The function of the left ventricle is to pump blood and distribute the blood throughout the body. Cardiac blood pool scan is also called gated blood pool scan or gated heart pool scan.

Reasons for Cardiac Blood Pool Scan Test

This scan detects:

  • The size of the heart chambers, the ventricles
  • The pumping action of the lower ventricles
  • Any bulge or protrusion in the wall of an artery or heart chamber
  • Any defect in the wall of the heart
  • Blockage of arteries
  • Artery disorders and diseases

Method

A cardiac blood pool scan is a thirty minute test. An electro cardiogram or ECG may be done before the cardiac blood pool scan. It is expected that the patient remains motionless and silent throughout the test. A comparative test may also be taken after asking the patient to exercise for a short while. Pregnant women are not supposed to take a cardiac blood pool scan. The fetus of a pregnant woman may be at risk due to nuclear scanning. No changes in medications or diet are prescribed before the test. The accuracy of a test can also be questioned if a person moves while scanning, has irregular heartbeat or has had recent radioactive scans. The patient is expected to lie under a special camera that detects radiation. A radioactive marker such as technetium-99m is injected in the patients forearm with a protein. This special camera works in coordination with an electrocardiogram (ECG). The camera takes pictures at specific times in the heart relaxation and contraction cycle. Data is then processed by a computer in a sequential order. This helps a medical professional analyze the efficiency of the left ventricle.  A patient can resume normal routine immediately after the tests. Given that the cardiac blood pool scan is a non invasive procedure it is a safe and effective way to monitor the efficiency of the left ventricle.

Previous history of allergies, intake of medicines and presence of metal devices or pacemaker in the body should be discussed with your healthcare provider before taking this test. A clear picture of the blood flow can be difficult to obtain incase of pacemaker or metal devices present in the chest.

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