Red Blood Cell Survival Study

This is a nuclear scan test in which a harmless radioactive material is used to measure and tag some of the patient's red blood cells. The blood cells are then injected back into the patient. Scans are done of the spleen, the liver, and the sac surrounding the heart (the pericardial sac). These tests show any abnormal activity in any of these areas or if red blood cells are being destroyed. Scans of the spleen will give some indication of the breakdown of the red blood cells.

PREPARATION FOR TEST

A blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm.

NORMAL FINDINGS

  • Half-life of RBC's (red blood cells): 26-30 days

  • Spleen/liver ratio: 1:1

  • Spleen/pericardium ratio: less than 2:1

Ranges for normal findings may vary among different laboratories and hospitals. You should always check with your doctor after having lab work or other tests done to discuss the meaning of your test results and whether your values are considered within normal limits.

MEANING OF TEST

Your caregiver will go over the test results with you and discuss the importance and meaning of your results, as well as treatment options and the need for additional tests if necessary.

OBTAINING THE TEST RESULTS

It is your responsibility to obtain your test results. Ask the lab or department performing the test when and how you will get your results.