1. Introduction of Nuclear Cardiology
  2. Definition of Nuclear Cardiology
  3. Symptoms of Nuclear Cardiology
  4. How should I prepare?
  5. What is Cardiac Nuclear Medicine?

1. Introduction of Nuclear Cardiology

The Nuclear Cardiology laboratory at Mayo Clinic includes staff trained in cardiovascular disease and radiology. The staff in the nuclear Cardiology laboratory collaborate to perform and interpret each study. This team approach ensures the technical and interpretive quality of each person study’s.

In a nuclear stress test develop take an image of your heart just after you are exercising on a treadmill or bicycle, or an after you have been given medication to stress your heart and again while you’re at rest. In some cases, pacing may be used with people who have a pacemaker device.

During a nuclear stress test, the doctor inserts a radioactive dye called a tracer into a vein usually in your hand or arm. Several different tracers may be used. The dye travels. Through your blood vessels to your heart. Imaging scans detect the radioactive dye and use it to develop images of your heart muscle. The scans show how well the blood flow is to your heart and can detect if you have a heart attack.

Scans that are often used include:

  • Positron emission tomography scan
  • Single photon emissions computerized tomography scan

2. Definition of Nuclear Cardiology

Nuclear Cardiology studies use noninvasive techniques to assess myocardial blood flow, evaluate the pumping function of the heart as well as visualize the size and location of a heart attack. Among the techniques of nuclear Cardiology, myocardial perfusion imaging is the most widely used.

3. Symptoms of Nuclear Cardiology

Physicians use cardiac nuclear medicine studies to help diagnose cardiac disease.

The symptoms include:

  • Unexplained chest pain
  • Chest pain brought on by exercise called angina
  • Shortness of breath with exertion
  • Abnormal electrocardiogram

Cardiac nuclear medicine imaginings also performed:

  • To visualize blood flow patterns to the heart walls, called a myocardial perfusion scan
  • To evaluate the presence and extent of suspected or known coronary artery disease
  • To determine the extent of injury to the heart following a heart attack or myocardial infarction.
  • In conjunction with an electrocardiogram ECG to evaluate heart wall movement and overall heart function with a technique called cardiac gating.

4. How should I prepare?

You should inform your physician if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and/or if you have :

  • Asthma
  • Heart failure
  • Had a recent heart attack or myocardial infarction
  • Chronic lung diseases
  • Conduction abnormalities within the heart aortic stenosis or other abnormalities with the valves of your heart
  • Any abnormalities with the heart and lungs.

5. What is Cardiac Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine uses a small amount of radioactive material called a radiotracer, Doctors use nuclear medicine to diagnose evaluate and treat various diseases. These include cancer, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, or neurological disorders, and other conditions. Nuclear medicine exams pinpoint molecule activity. This gives them the potential to find disease in its earliest stages. They can also show whether you are responding to treatment.

Cardiac nuclear medicine is useful in the diagnosis and assessing coronary artery disease. It is also used to evaluate cardiomyopathy and identity possible damage to the heart from chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Nuclear medicine is noninvasive. Except for intravenous injections, it is usually painless. These tests use radioactivity material called radiopharmaceuticals or radiotracers to help diagnose and assess medical conditions. The most common radiotracer is F 18 fluorodeoxyglucose ( FDG) a molecule similar to glucose.

Cancer cells are more metabolically active and may absorb glucose at a higher rate. This higher rate can be seen on PET scans. Many imaging centers combine nuclear medicine images with computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging to produce special views. Doctor call this image fusion or Co-registration.

Image fusion allows the doctor to connect and interpret information from two different exams on one image. This leads to more precise information and a more exact diagnosis. Single photon emissions CT and positron emission tomography unit can perform both exams at the same time.

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