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Bowel Haemorrhage Study or GIT Bleed


  • You have been referred for a Bowel Haemorrhage Study or GIT (Gastro-Intestinal) Bleed Study in which imaging is done in two parts: Initial and Delayed.

  • A GIT Bleed Study attempts to visualise bleeding within the abdomen.

  • If you are bleeding continuously, we may be able to visualise where this is occurring in the abdomen.

  • If you are intermittently bleeding, we may need to image over a period of 24 hours.

  • To perform this test, we need to give you two injections into your vein (similar to a blood test).

  • The first injection (stannous ions), prepares your blood for the second injection (99mTc-Pertechnetate).

  • The second injection is done 15 minutes after the first injection while you lie on a bed and makes your blood slightly radioactive.

  • There are rarely any side effects with either injection.

  • Initial images are done of your abdomen using a Gamma Camera (1). This takes 1 hour to complete and is painless.

  • Depending on what we see on the initial images, you may need to return to the Department after 4 hours for Delayed images.

  • Delayed Imaging only takes 4 minutes. If bleeding is seen on the delayed images, then extra imaging may be necessary which can take up to 1 hour to complete.

  • Again, depending on what we see on the delayed images, you may need to return the next day for one more image. This only takes 15 minutes.

  • If we detect bleeding, we often require imaging your abdomen in 3D. This is called SPECT/CT (2) imaging.

  • With SPECT/CT imaging, the same Gamma Camera simply rotates around your body, taking images all the time. This can take 15 minutes.

  • You receive a slight radiation dose by having a GIT Bleed Study with SPECT/CT ~ up to 3.8 times your yearly background radiation (3).


Patient Preparation:

  • If you are pregnant, trying to fall pregnant or breast feeding, you must inform our staff.

  • You are not to have anything to eat or drink for 6 hours prior the scan. 

  • If you have had prior imaging e.g. PET, Nuclear Scan, CT, MRI, X-Ray, Ultrasound, etc... please bring these with you.

  • Please also bring your referral and any blood results that you may have had done.

  • If you are on any medications, please take these as normal.

  • Wear comfortable clothing and minimise the amount of metal jewellery you have on (all metal objects will need to be removed prior to imaging).

  • Important Note: You cannot have this test if you have had a PET or Nuclear Scan within 24 hours prior to this test. If you have had Iodine-131 therapy, allow 4-weeks before having this test. Please ring to discuss booking options.​


Breast-Feeding Mothers: Once you have been given the tracer, you need to stop breast-feeding for two feeds. During this time, you need to express and discard your breast milk. You will need to bottle-feed your child during this period.


(1) A Gamma Camera is a device that detects gamma-rays (gamma-rays are very similar to x-rays) and does not emit any radiation.

(2) SPECT/CT imaging (Single Photon Emission Computer Tomography / Computer Tomography). CT does emit radiation

(3) We all receive a yearly background radiation dose ~ 2.4mSv. GIT Bleed Study with SPECT/CT ~ 9.0mSv = 3.75 times yearly background dose.

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