What is a Cardiac PET Scan?
- Posted on: Oct 15 2018
Diagnostic tests are routinely performed to obtain valuable information regarding a person’s general health. Tests like ultrasounds and EKGs obtain data that helps doctors reach accurate conclusions about the symptoms a patient may be having. Every test is unique in some way. Here, we discuss the cardiac PET scan, what it is, and for whom this test might be ordered.
What is the PET Scan?
PET stands for positron emission tomography. The scan is a type of imaging test that is performed with a special dye, called contrast media. This dye has radioactive tracers, which make it easier to observe the movement of blood using specific imaging. For the scan, the patient lies on an exam table. The contrast dye is injected into a vein, and the table is then moved into a tunnel-shaped machine. The internal walls of the tunnel track the radioactive dye and produce high-quality images of internal structures. In this case, the heart. The images that are captured during the cardiac PET scan then create a three-dimensional map of the heart.
Why a PET Scan is Performed
The cardiac PET scan enables the cardiologist to know more about the heart muscle. Specifically, this test provides an accurate measurement of blood flow between the heart and cardiac arteries. A PET scan also picks up injured or dead heart tissue, which can help us diagnose coronary artery disease and tissue damage that has resulted from a heart attack. Using the information from a PET scan, the cardiologist can determine if a patient is a good candidate for angioplasty or another surgical procedure to address clogged or blocked arteries.
Who Gets a PET Scan
This type of test may be ordered to:
- Assess for cardiovascular disease in symptomatic patients or those with specific risk factors for disease, such as high cholesterol or family history.
- To monitor heart health through a course of treatment after the diagnoses of coronary artery disease.
- To evaluate the condition of diagnosed artery blockages and assess the benefit of bypass surgery or stents.
- To observe the condition of the heart following a heart attack as treatment options are being considered.
Imaging is a vital aspect of cardiology, and we utilize various tests for the greatest good of our patients. Do you need cardiac care? Call 516-437-5600 to schedule a visit to our Lake Success, Richmond Hill, or Forest Hills office.
Posted in: Cardiac Testing