Heart Shunt Scan

Norm of Heart Shunt Scan

Normal pulmonary transit time and chamber-filling sequence.


Usage of Heart Shunt Scan

Determines improper shunting of blood in heart disorders, especially in children.


Description of Heart Shunt Scan

The heart shunt scan is an angiography study used to examine the transit of a bolus of technetium-99m into the jugular vein. Images are taken to follow the bolus on its journey through the heart chambers to visualize any abnormal shunting of blood between chambers.


Professional Considerations of Heart Shunt Scan

Consent form IS required.

During pregnancy or breast-feeding.



  1. Have emergency equipment readily available.



  1. With the client positioned in a 20-degree Fowler's position, radionuclide is injected into the external jugular vein.
  2. Scanning is performed for approximately 45 minutes.


Postprocedure Care

  1. Assess the venipuncture site for bleeding, hematoma.
  2. Observe the client carefully for up to 60 minutes after the study for a possible (anaphylactic) reaction to the radionuclide.
  3. Wear rubber gloves when discarding urine that is voided up to 24 hours after the procedure. Wash the gloved hands with soap and water before removing the gloves. Wash the ungloved hands after the gloves have been removed.


Client and Family Teaching

  1. Meticulously wash the hands with soap and water after each void for 24 hours.


Factors That Affect Results

  1. None.


Other Data

  1. This test is specific for left-to-right shunt and right-to-left shunt.
  2. Health care professionals working in a nuclear medicine area should wear a film badge at waist level (the level closest to the client).
  3. Health care professionals working in a nuclear medicine area must follow federal standards set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. These standards include precautions for handling the radioactive material and monitoring of potential radiation exposure.
  4. Technetium half-life is 6 hours.