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Resting radionuclide angiogram (RNA) is a type of nuclear medicine procedure. This means that a tiny amount of a radioactive substance, called a tracer, is used during the scan to help show the heart’s chambers in motion. This test can tell the doctor how well the heart pumps and how much blood is pumped with each heartbeat. This is called the ejection fraction.
A radioactive tracer (usually technetium) is injected into an arm vein to “tag" blood cells so they can be tracked with a scanner as they move through the heart. A special camera (called a gamma camera) then makes recordings of the heart muscle at work, like a movie. These recordings will be matched with the electrocardiogram (ECG). An ECG is a recording of the heart's electrical activity.
When the heart tissue doesn’t get enough blood, it can’t function as well as it should. Over time, the heart muscle becomes weak due to a lack of oxygen.
If the heart muscle doesn’t move normally, or not enough blood is pumped out by the heart, it may be a sign of one or more of the following:
Reasons for your doctor to request a resting radionuclide angiogram (RNA) include:
If your doctor thinks you have some type of heart disease, a resting RNA may be done.
There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend this test.
Only a small amount of the radioactive tracer is used. So, there is no need for precautions against radiation exposure.
The injection of the radioactive tracer may cause some sight discomfort. Allergic reactions to the tracer are rare.
If you are pregnant or think you may be, tell your healthcare provider. Radiation exposure during pregnancy may lead to birth defects. If you are breastfeeding, tell your healthcare provider.
There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor prior to the procedure.
Certain factors may interfere with or affect the results of this test. These include:
A resting radionuclide angiogram (RNA) may be done on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your doctor's practices.
Generally, a resting RNA follows this process:
Be sure to move slowly when getting up from the scanner table to avoid any dizziness or lightheadedness from lying flat for the length of the procedure.
You will be instructed to drink plenty of fluids and empty your bladder frequently for 24 to 48 hours after the test to help flush the remaining radioactive tracer from your body.
The IV site will be checked for any signs of redness or swelling. If you notice any pain, redness, and/or swelling at the IV site after you go home, you should notify your doctor as this may be a sign of infection or other type of reaction.
Your doctor may give you other instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation.
Before you agree to the test or the procedure make sure you know:
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.