A multi-use games area or MUGA is a sports facility designed to accommodate several different activities, such as tennis, football, basketball, and netball. These facilities are typically used by schools, local authorities/district councils, and sport clubs.
The MUGA heart scan, also called nuclear ventriculography, equilibrium radionuclide angiography, and cardiac blood pool scan, is an imaging test that checks how well your heart is pumping during exercise or rest. During the test, a small amount of a radioactive tracer is injected into a vein in your arm. The tracer is then detected by a camera that produces computer-generated images of your heart.
Before you undergo a MUGA scan, you should avoid eating for four to six hours and drinking caffeine-containing drinks. You should also wear comfortable clothing for the exam. You should not wear any jewelry or metal objects, as they may interfere with the images. The test is done as an outpatient procedure at a hospital or a clinic.
During the scan, you will lie on a table while a camera is positioned above you to take pictures of your heart. During the resting scan, you will be asked to breathe normally and remain still for about 30 minutes. During the exercise test, you will walk on a treadmill or perform other exercises to increase your heart rate. The total test should only take up to two hours.
After the MUGA scan, you will need to wait for your results. Depending on the results, your doctor will determine whether further testing or treatment is required. Often, doctors will recommend the MUGA scan for patients who have recently suffered a heart attack or have chronic cardiomyopathy. The test can help determine how much damage has been caused to the left ventricle of your heart, as well as evaluate your heart wall motion and ejection fraction.
If you are undergoing chemotherapy, your doctor might order a MUGA scan to assess your heart function. This is especially important if you have a condition that can cause serious side effects when combined with chemotherapy drugs. MUGA scans can provide accurate information about how your heart is functioning before and during chemotherapy treatments.
The only risks of a MUGA scan are the minor side effects associated with the injection of the radiotracer and the radiation from the camera. However, it is important to talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Too much radiation during pregnancy can lead to birth defects, and the radiotracer can make its way into breast milk. It is also a good idea to discuss the results of your MUGA scan with your doctor if you are currently receiving cancer treatment. This will enable them to monitor your heart function more closely during and after your chemotherapy treatment. Your doctor will be able to adjust your chemotherapy dosages accordingly, if necessary. These adjustments can help prevent side effects such as heart failure, low blood pressure, and bleeding at the injection site.