Red Blood Cell Tag for GI Bleed

What Is Red Blood Cell (RBC) Tag and GI Bleed Scan?

An RBC tag study and GI bleed scan is a test where red blood cells are marked/tagged with a radioactive tracer. The tagged blood is injected back into the blood stream and tracked for leaking to determine the area of intestinal bleeding.

Before the Exam

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. For the best experience please properly prepare for your appointment:

  • Inform your doctor if you could be pregnant or are nursing.
  • The test can only be completed while the patient is actively bleeding. Your physician may order labs prior to this test to confirm appropriate timing.
  • No special preparation is required. You may eat and drink as normal.
  • Do not bring children with you to your appointment. For their safety children are not allowed to accompany you in the exam room. Staff are unable to monitor children.

During the Exam

A Nuclear Medicine technologist will explain and perform the exam.

  • Technologist places IV in your arm.
  • Blood is drawn and marked with the radioactive tracer. A process that takes 30 minutes.
  • Technologist positions you on imaging table and gives radioactive marked blood back through your IV.
  • A series of images are taken.
  • Total appointment time is approximately 90 minutes.

After the Exam

  • You may resume your normal activities.
  • Increase your fluid intake unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • The radioactive tracer used for this test is Tc99m NaTc04.
  • A radiologist is a doctor who reads your exam. They will get results to your ordering provider within 5 business days. Your ordering clinic will provide you with the results.
  • Follow-up care is a key part of your health. Be sure to make and go to all appointments and call your primary care provider if you have questions.

If you have any questions about your examination, please call your provider.

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