St Vincent's Clinic Medical Imaging & Nuclear Medicine

Gastro-Intestinal Blood Loss Study

A Gastro-Intestinal Blood Loss Study is used to localise the site of gastro-intestinal bleeding.

What will happen when you have your Gastro-Intestinal Blood Loss Study

When you arrive in the Nuclear Medicine Department your blood will be labeled with a radioactive tracer. This is done by either taking a sample of your blood, adding a ‘tracer” and re-injecting the blood sample or you may be given 2 injections. The first is a pharmaceutical that helps bind the radiation of the second injection to your red blood cells. After the first injection you will be asked to wait several minutes. The Nuclear Medicine Technician will position your abdomen under the Gamma Camera and the second injection will be given. Imaging will be performed for approximately 1.5hrs.

If the bleed is not localised within the first hour and a half of imaging, you may be asked to come back intermittently through out the day for further scanning or until the bleed is visualised.

What you need to do and how to prepare for the test

You will not be required to undress for the scan. The scan is performed with the Gamma Camera close to your body but you do not go through a “tunnel”.

  • You will need a referral from your doctor
  • You will need an appointment for this test
  • Please inform booking staff if you are or think you may be pregnant or are breastfeeding
  • You can eat and drink normally before the test
  • You can take your medications as normal
  • You will be in the department for approximately 1.5hrs for the first part of the test and may be required to return for further imaging
  • Please bring any previous relevant X-rays or scans to your appointment
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