Right to Left Cardiac Shunt Scan


What is a Right to Left Cardiac Shunt Scan?

This test is typically performed for patients with congenital heart defects or for hepatopulmonary syndrome causing profound hypoxemia.

Test Details

How should I prepare for a Right to Left Cardiac Shunt Scan?

There is no prep for this scan.

How long does the test take?

This scan takes approximately 20 minutes to perform. When you arrive to the Nuclear Medicine Department a technologist will take you to the imaging room and explain the test. You will be asked to remove any external metal from the waste up. The technologist will give you an injection in a vein in your arm of a radioactive isotope. There are no side effects to this injection. The technologist will then position you under the camera and take a three minute image of your lungs and then a three minute picture of your head. These images will be process to determine a shunting percentage.

How soon will the scan results be available?

A radiologist will interpret the images, write a report, and deliver the results to your doctor via the internal computer system. This process usually takes less than 24 hours.

It is essential to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant before undergoing this scan because of radiation exposure.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/03/2019.

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