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RVG Scan for RCT

A radionuclide ventriculogram (RVG) is a special type of x-ray used to look at how well the heart works.  Certain chemotherapy drugs can be harmful to the heart and if the results of this test are outside normal limits, the doctor may change the dose or the type of chemotherapy.

What happens during an RVG ?

First, an intravenous (IV) line will be placed in your arm. A small amount of blood will be taken out through the IV. This blood will be combined with a radioactive substance that can be seen by a special camera. This blood “labeling” procedure takes about 45 minutes. Next you will be connected to a heart monitor. As you lie on your back on a table, your “labeled” blood will be put back into your body through the IV line. You will not feel anything from this injection.

Next a camera will be placed near your chest. Pictures will be taken from three different angles. The “labeled” blood makes your heart and blood vessels easy to see. This part of the test takes about 45 minutes.

The Procedure

A blood sample will be taken prior to the test, either through your Hickman® line or from your arm if you don’t have a line. Then a small amount of radioactive material is mixed with the blood specimen and injected into a vein with a small needle.

You will be asked to lie still as the machine traces the path of the injected blood on a monitor screen.  From the pictures taken, the doctor can see how well the heart pumps blood and how well the heart valves work.

Since the amount of radiation used to tag the blood is tiny and doesn’t last long, your exposure to radiation is also very small. This procedure takes between 1-2 hours.