The MUGA scan (Multiple Gated Acquisition scan) is an extremely useful noninvasive tool for assessing the function of the heart when information on blood flow to the heart muscle is not required. The MUGA scan produces a moving image of the beating heart, and from this image several important features can be determined about the health of the cardiac ventricles (the heart’s major pumping chambers). The MUGA scan is a very useful tool in the measurement of left ventricle ejection fraction (LVEF) with a high degree of accuracy. Abnormalities in cardiac function can be demonstrated in patients with a low calculated LVEF and/or abnormalities in wall motion.
Imaging requires the use of a radioactive tracer to label the patients red blood cells. Using the Gamma Camera and the patient’s heart beat to “gate” the acquisition; the result is a series of images of the blood as is passes through the heart during one heartbeat.