Nuclear Perfusion (SPECT/PET) and Viability Study

What is Nuclear Perfusion Scan?

Nuclear perfusion scan is used to assess the flow of blood to heart muscles during exercise and resting. During the procedure, a radioactive compound (called a tracer) is injected into a vein in the patient’s arm. The tracer is swept from the blood quickly by the heart muscle cells. Heart images are then captured by a gamma camera. If radioactivity is not detected in parts of the heart, this indicates that there is a lack of blood supply to that part.

Why is Nuclear Perfusion Scan required?

Doctor may request a nuclear perfusion scan if chest pain occurs during exercises or without apparent reason. The result of the scan can help to determine the cause of chest pain. The doctor may also recommend this test to assess blood flow to the heart walls, and to check if any coronary (heart) arteries are blocked and the extent of blockage.

This test is also useful if a heart attack has occurred. It allows the doctor to determine the extent of damage to the heart. In addition, it is a good assessment test of blood flow in patients with a prior angioplasty (re-opening of the blocked heart arteries using a balloon or a stent) or coronary bypass surgery.

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