Gastrointestinal Bleeding Scan

Also known as: GI bleeding scan, GI bleed scan.

What is a gastrointestinal bleeding scan?

If a doctor suspects that a patient is experiencing gastrointestinal bleeding somewhere along their digestive tract, then he or she may order a gastrointestinal bleeding scan. It involves using the patient’s own blood in order to detect the source and extent of the bleeding.

What happens during the procedure?

The test begins with a blood draw from the patient’s arm that is performed with an IV. The blood is taken to a lab and mixed with a safe radioactive substance that makes it easy for imaging tests to see the blood. Then the blood is injected back into the body through the IV. Imaging tests are conducted as the blood circulates through the body in order to determine the source of the bleeding.

Is any special preparation needed?

No special preparation is required for this test.

What are the risk factors?

There is a slight risk of a reaction to the radioactive material given to the patient, but this risk is very minor.

Reviewed by: Carrie Firestone Baum, MD

This page was last updated on: April 06, 2021 10:14 AM

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