Gastrointestinal (GI) Bleeding Scans use a radioactive material called a radiopharmaceutical or radiotracer, which is injected into your bloodstream. This radioactive material accumulates in the organ or area of your body being examined, where it gives off a small amount of energy in the form of gamma rays. A gamma camera or probe detects this energy and with the help of a computer creates pictures offering details on the location of a bleed within your body.
Your doctor may recommend a GI Bleeding Scan to help locate the sites of either a gastrointestinal or non-gastrointestinal bleeds, which include the stomach and small and large intestines.
In a Gastrointestinal (GI) Bleeding Scan a small amount of blood will be drawn from a vein in your arm. In the nuclear medicine lab your blood will be mixed with a radioactive tracer for 30 minutes. When your blood is ready you will lie on your back on the imaging table, with the camera positioned above and below your abdomen. The injection of radioactive tracer mixed with your blood will be injected into a vein in your arm. Pictures of your abdomen will start immediately, lasting for approximately one hour or longer, looking for an area of bleeding in the intestinal tract.
External cameras capture internal images emitted by radiopharmaceuticals to detect and track disease.
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