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Mini-Medical School
Nuclear Medicine Gastrointestinal Bleeding Scan

Based on a clinical evaluation, your doctor may recommend a nuclear medicine gastrointestinal bleeding scan to confirm suspected gastrointestinal bleeding. We hope this introductory brochure will help you understand this scan better.

The purpose of nuclear medicine gastrointestinal bleeding scan is to detect the timing and location of gastrointestinal bleeding when such bleeding cannot be located by upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy.

Procedure for the scan

  • You should fast for at least four hours before the scan.
  • At the time of your scan, a labeled red blood cells test is prepared for you, so you will be asked to have your blood drawn.
  • We will scan your abdomen at 5th, 15th, 30th, 45th and 60th minutes after injecting the labeled red blood cells. Actual imaging timing may vary depending on the circumstances. If the location of the bleeding still cannot be detected, we may scan the abdomen with 30 minutes ( or 60 minutes ) apart until the location of bleeding is found. If there is still no result, it is up to the doctor to determine when the scan can be discontinued or repeated later at a future time when bleeding is suspected to occur.

Things to keep in mind

  • Please notify us if you are pregnant; if you have a radiological procedure with barium for the last 48 hours, please inform us as well because the procedure will be inappropriate for you.​
  • You will need to empty your bladder before the scan. Do your best to remain still during the scan. This will improve the quality of the image. There are no special precautions and complications such as allergy are rare.
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