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Nuclear Testing (SPECT & PET)

Cardiovascular Medicine P.C. is proud to offer the most comprehensive nuclear cardiology testing services in the area.

What is a SPECT nuclear stress test?
A SPECT nuclear stress test, sometimes called myocardial perfusion imaging, looks at the blood flow to your heart muscle. It is performed while your heart is at stress (exercise) and at rest. The stress test can be performed on a treadmill or with a medication that simulates exercise. Small amounts of radioactive medicine are injected thru an IV in your arm and a special camera is used to take pictures of the heart.

Why does my doctor want me to have this test?
You may be asked to have a nuclear stress test if your doctor suspects you have blockages in the blood vessels of your heart (coronary arteries), other heart problems, or if other testing has not determined the cause of symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath.

What will happen when I arrive for the test?
A member of our staff will escort you to an exam room to explain the procedure. You will be asked to sign a consent form. Any questions you have will be answered at this time. An IV will be started in your arm and EKG patches will be placed on your chest. You will be asked to lie flat on your back on an imaging table with your arms above your head. A radioactive medicine will be administered through your IV. Rest and stress images are acquired for about 10 minutes. When the test is complete, you may resume your regular diet and routine.

What is a PET nuclear stress test?
A PET nuclear stress test is similar to a traditional SPECT nuclear stress test. Blood flow to the heart muscle is evaluated at both stress and rest. A PET nuclear stress test offers several advantages over a SPECT nuclear stress test. These advantages include increased accuracy, a shorter test time, and less radiation exposure. A PET nuclear stress test may not be appropriate for all patients. Cardiovascular Medicine P.C. is proud to be the only provider in the area offering this highly specialized testing technology.

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