Thursday, September 2, 2010


Today I had a MUGA (multigated aquisitional) scan. I got there at 7:30 and they injected me with stannous (tin) ions. After that I went back to the waiting room for 20 minutes so it could circulate through my body.

I then went back into the treatment room and they injected me with a radioactive substance, technetium-99m-pertechnetate. The stannous ions bind to the technetium and keep the technetium from leaking out of the red blood cells. The technetium "labels" the red blood cells.

Then they attached 3 ECG leads to my chest. After that I was told to lie on the table and it was moved into the machine. I was allowed to remain fully clothed. I had to cross my arms above my head and hold small rope holders to keep my hands in place. This wasn't so bad this time but it was torture when I had it just after my surgeries.

The machine contains a gamma camera. The gamma camera is able to detect the radiation released by the tracer (label). It can then produce computer generated movie images of the heart. It can very accurately evaluate the pumping function of the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart).

The reason for the MUGA scan is that the herceptin I get every three weeks can cause heart damage. The oncologist wants me to have the scan every three months. It has actually been six months since I have had the scan. The scan itself isn't so bad but I have to try to stay away from Julianna for a day or two because of the radiation. I can be in the house with her but she can't sit and cuddle with me or get hugs.

I won't have any results for a week or so. I am not worried about them though. Thanks everyone!!

On the table but not yet in position

View from the side

Here you can see where they did the injections

Almost all the way in

This is as deep in there as I got. It wasn't bad

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