What is a MUGA Scan?

A multiple-gated acquisition (MUGA) scan is a procedure performed in Nuclear Medicine to evaluate the heart. A MUGA scan takes many pictures to create a moving picture of your heart pumping. This allows the nuclear medicine doctor to evaluate how well your heart pumps and moves your blood around your body. The measurement is called an Ejection Fraction (EF – the blood is ejected from your heart).

When is the MUGA Scan Performed?

MUGA scans are usually performed before chemotherapy starts. This scan is repeated after chemotherapy begins from time to time to make sure your heart is functioning well. Sometimes your chemotherapy medicine is adjusted.

What Can I Expect?

  • In preparation for your scan, avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine (coffee, tea, or soft drinks) for several hours before the test.
  • You will be asked to remove metal objects from your chest area like jewelry or piercings.
  • A nuclear medicine technologist will start the procedure by giving you a small injection into a vein in your arm of a medication that attaches to your red blood cells. This prepares the cells for the radioactive injection 30 minutes later. This radioactivity “tags” or “labels” the red blood cells so that they can be watched by the gamma camera for scanning.
  • You will lie flat on the imaging table. Breathe normally but lie still. Sometimes additional pictures are needed if you move during the scan.
  • Three electrodes will be placed on your chest like an EKG.
  • The Gamma Camera will be moved in very close to your chest to take the pictures.
  • The scan usually takes an hour unless additional pictures are needed.

Contact Us

Dubin Breast Center
The Mount Sinai Hospital
Klingenstein Pavilion
1176 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10029

For Appointments and Information
Tel: 855-TO-DUBIN (863-8246) or

Breast Imaging
Tel: 212-241-3300 option 1

Breast Surgery
Tel: 212-241-3300 option 2

Breast Reconstruction (plastic surgery)
Tel: 212-241-4410

Medical Oncology
Tel: 212-241-3300 option 3

Radiation Oncology
Tel: 212-241-7501

Breast Pathology
Tel: 212-241-7397

Breast Health Resource Program (psychosocial support)
Tel: 212-987-3063