Skip to Content

Gated Blood Pool Scan / MUGA Scan

A Gated Blood Pool Scan, or MUGA scan, is one of the most widely used diagnostic tests for evaluating the functioning of your heart ventricles. The MUGA scan procedure uses a small amount of radioactive substance and takes images of a beating heart to identify any abnormalities of the blood pumping function.


  • Evaluate ventricular regional wall motion
  • Quantitate ventricular ejection fraction
  • Monitor cardiotoxicity of chemotherapy
  • Differentiate pulmonary and cardiac causes of dyspnea 

Gated Blood Pool Scan / MUGA Scan Preparation

There are no restrictions or preparations necessary for a Gated Blood Pool/MUGA scan.

Gated Blood Pool Scan / MUGA Scan Procedure

During the first part of a MUGA test, the patient will get a series of two IV injections that allow the tagging of red blood cells with a small amount of a radiotracer. This tagging takes approximately twenty minutes and allows the camera to see the blood flow in the ventricle of the heart. The patient has three EKG leads placed on their chest. The patient then has one to three images taken of the heart at different angles; each picture takes about 10 minutes. The MUGA test determines the effectiveness of the heart's pump function, and allows the physician to look at the wall motion of the heart. The MUGA scan procedure takes approximately one hour.