Blog
Feb 11
Blog: Cardiac Nuclear Medicine Imaging

Saratoga Hospital is home to many advanced technologies that enable our medical teams to provide the best possible diagnosis and treatment, such as cardiac nuclear medicine imaging. This type of imaging provides unique information about your heart and blood flow that cannot be obtained by other imaging techniques.  

When seeking a diagnosis for any abnormalities associated with the heart, it may not be enough to measure how fast or strongly it pumps. In some cases, your cardiologist will need to know how your blood flows through your body when you are in a resting state and when you are active. Nuclear medicine can visualize blood flow patterns to and from the heart walls, determine the extent of injury following a heart attack, and evaluate the presence and extent of suspected or known coronary artery disease, as well as a host of other cardiac-related conditions. 

The way it works is relatively simple from the patient’s point of view. A tracer, which is a very small amount of radioactive material, is injected through an IV to help the radiologist and cardiologist identify what they are seeking. The tracer emits energy, a gamma ray, which can be picked up by a special camera that can turn it into an image. 

It takes about an hour for the tracer to work through the system. The patient simply relaxes during this time. Then, while the patient lays still on the examination table, the gamma camera and a single-photon emission-computed tomography (SPECT) rotate around the patient’s body to take detailed, three-dimensional images for about 10 to 15 minutes.   

The next step can take place a few hours or the day following the first set of images. When the patient returns, they are asked to step onto a treadmill and a stress-test is then performed. Their heart and blood pressure will be measured during the exercise. When the patient’s heart rate reaches the required beats per minute, (calculated specifically to each individual patient), another tracer is injected through an IV into the patient. More images are then taken. The tracer will reveal how the patient’s blood flows during activity. 

If a patient unable to reach the target heart rate or perform a treadmill stress test, then the test can be converted to a chemical stress test that will help assist increased blood flow to the heart, mimicking the activity of walking on a treadmill.

Nuclear medicine is a very safe procedure. It not only helps diagnose cardiac disease, but the computer images can also be used to identify how other organs, tissues, or bones are functioning. It is also less expensive and can provide more precise information than exploratory surgery. The tracer’s radioactivity is so minute that it does not pose risk. It is eventually eliminated naturally from the body. 

Depending on the type of exam, your doctor will instruct you on what you may eat or drink beforehand, especially if sedation is to be used. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown. 

Cardiac nuclear medicine is performed in The Diagnostic Center. Saratoga Hospital’s highly accredited imaging and radiology services are among the most advanced in the Capital Region. These services play a key role in diagnosing, treating, and monitoring the broadest range of conditions, including injuries, cancers, neurological disorders and pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. Learn more about our imaging services at SaratogaHospital.org. 
 


Related Posts

May 03, 2019

In "Health News"

May 27, 2019

In "Health News"

May 27, 2019

In "Health News"

May 27, 2019

In "Health News"

June 17, 2019

In "Health News"

May 28, 2019

In "Health News"

May 28, 2019

In "Health News"

May 28, 2019

In "Health News"

August 20, 2019

In "Health News"

September 11, 2019

In "Health News"

September 24, 2019

In "Health News"

February 19, 2020

In "Health News"

October 01, 2019

In "Health News"

October 25, 2019

In "Health News"

October 28, 2019

In "Health News"

December 12, 2019

In "Health News"

February 19, 2020

In "Health News"

November 06, 2019

In "Health News"

February 19, 2020

In "Health News"

November 21, 2019

In "Health News"

December 06, 2019

In "Health News"

January 03, 2020

In "Health News"

January 10, 2020

In "Health News"

January 28, 2020

In "Health News"

February 19, 2020

In "Health News"

February 19, 2020

In "Health News"

February 11, 2020

In "Health News"

February 14, 2020

In "Health News"

February 14, 2020

In "Health News"

February 19, 2020

In "Health News"

February 27, 2020

In "Health News"

March 03, 2020

In "Health News"

March 04, 2020

In "Health News"

March 08, 2020

In "Health News"

March 18, 2020

In "Health News"

March 30, 2020

In "Health News"

April 08, 2020

In "Health News"

April 10, 2020

In "Health News"

April 15, 2020

In "Health News"

April 23, 2020

In "Health News"

May 04, 2020

In "Health News"

May 12, 2020

In "Health News"

October 01, 2020

In "Health News"

May 14, 2020

In "Health News"

May 18, 2020

In "Health News"

May 24, 2020

In "Health News"

October 01, 2020

In "Health News"

May 27, 2020

In "Health News"

June 11, 2020

In "Health News"

June 20, 2020

In "Health News"

June 29, 2020

In "Health News"

June 30, 2020

In "Health News"

July 06, 2020

In "Health News"

July 13, 2020

In "Health News"

July 23, 2020

In "Health News"

July 27, 2020

In "Health News"

July 31, 2020

In "Health News"

August 04, 2020

In "Health News"

August 27, 2020

In "Health News"

August 06, 2020

In "Health News"

August 13, 2020

In "Health News"

August 11, 2020

In "Health News"

August 18, 2020

In "Health News"

August 20, 2020

In "Health News"

August 27, 2020

In "Health News"

September 03, 2020

In "Health News"

September 11, 2020

In "Health News"

September 08, 2020

In "Health News"

August 25, 2020

In "Health News"

September 15, 2020

In "Health News"

September 17, 2020

In "Health News"

September 24, 2020

In "Health News"

September 22, 2020

In "Health News"

October 13, 2020

In "Health News"

October 02, 2020

In "Health News"

October 13, 2020

In "Health News"

October 02, 2020

In "Health News"

October 15, 2020

In "Health News"

October 20, 2020

In "Health News"

October 02, 2020

In "Health News"

October 13, 2020

In "Health News"

November 03, 2020

In "Health News"

October 27, 2020

In "Health News"

November 01, 2020

In "Health News"

December 03, 2020

In "Health News"

November 05, 2020

In "Health News"

November 13, 2020

In "Health News"

November 13, 2020

In "Health News"

November 17, 2020

In "Health News"

November 20, 2020

In "Health News"

November 25, 2020

In "Health News"

November 30, 2020

In "Health News"

December 02, 2020

In "Health News"

November 25, 2020

In "Health News"

December 08, 2020

In "Health News"

December 10, 2020

In "Health News"

April 14, 2021

In "Health News"

December 29, 2020

In "Health News"

December 31, 2020

In "Health News"

January 05, 2021

In "Health News"

February 23, 2021

In "Health News"

January 26, 2021

In "Health News"

January 14, 2021

In "Health News"

January 07, 2021

In "Health News"

December 30, 2020

In "Health News"

January 19, 2021

In "Health News"

January 07, 2021

In "Health News"

February 09, 2021

In "Health News"

February 25, 2021

In "Health News"

January 12, 2021

In "Health News"

January 28, 2021

In "Health News"

January 21, 2021

In "Health News"

February 03, 2021

In "Health News"

February 16, 2021

In "Health News"

February 18, 2021

In "Health News"

February 26, 2021

In "Health News"

March 02, 2021

In "Health News"

March 04, 2021

In "Health News"

March 09, 2021

In "Health News"

March 16, 2021

In "Health News"

March 18, 2021

In "Health News"

March 23, 2021

In "Health News"

April 01, 2021

In "Health News"

April 06, 2021

In "Health News"

April 08, 2021

In "Health News"

April 13, 2021

In "Health News"

April 15, 2021

In "Health News"

April 20, 2021

In "Health News"

April 22, 2021

In "Health News"

April 27, 2021

In "Health News"

April 29, 2021

In "Health News"

May 04, 2021

In "Health News"

May 18, 2021

In "Health News"

May 17, 2021

In "Health News"

May 25, 2021

In "Health News"

May 27, 2021

In "Health News"