Nuclear Medicine Procedures: RVG Scan or MUGA


Radionuclide ventriculograms (RVG) are commonly referred to as MUGA scans (multi-gated acquisition). An RVG scan determines the patient's left ventricular ejection fraction. The patient's red blood cells are labeled with an isotope. Then, the patient is placed under a gamma camera, which makes images from emitted gamma radiation of the patient's heart from two angles.


It takes 20 to 30 minutes for us to draw about 5 ml of blood and label the red blood cells with the isotope. Once the labeled cells are reinjected and EKG leads are in place, the patient is placed under the gamma camera. The scan takes 20-30 minutes to complete.


Patients can follow their regular diets and activity levels, and take their medications according to their physicians' instructions.


The exam table's weight limit is 300 pounds for an RVG scan. Patients who have had previous nuclear medicine exams may need to wait a few days before receiving an RVG scan, depending on the isotope received in the previous exams.


RVG scans are scheduled every hour from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the main hospital campus, our Westwood campus and The University of Kansas Cancer Center - South location.

Clinical Considerations

An RVG scan is used to assess the patient's left ventricular ejection fraction. Oncologists use this test to determine whether or not chemotherapy is reducing it.

Sedation Considerations

Patients usually do not need to be sedated to have an RVG scan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does an RVG scan make me radioactive?

You receive a tiny amount of radiopharmaceutical. Usually, it loses its radioactivity within hours, and will pass out of the body within 24 hours.

Do RVG scans hurt?

Other than the minor discomfort of a needle stick, RVG scans are painless.

Who should not get an RVG scan?

Generally, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not receive this procedure. It is safe for most other patients.

Physician Spotlight

Katherine Yaffe, MD

Clinical Focus
General Psychiatry

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