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Referring physician materials


As one of the most highly used diagnostic methods, nuclear medicine is an important tool in your arsenal when detecting and evaluating cardiovascular disease. Both single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography (PET/CT) serve as important diagnostic tools in cardiology.

Cardiac SPECT can identify areas of the heart which do not receive adequate blood flow during stress, called ischemia, as well as find areas of irreversibly damaged heart, or scar. Cardiac PET/CT combines CT’s fine anatomical detail with PET’s ability to detect biochemical abnormalities in the cell with high sensitivity and specificity to diagnose coronary artery disease. Important information from these scans enables physicians to determine the proper course of patient treatment. SPECT and PET/CT enhance patient treatment through:

  • Early detection of disease
  • Accurate assessment of myocardial perfusion, function and viability.

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Atherosclerosis A disease that causes the collection of fatty deposits to gather along the artery walls.
Cardiac arryhymias A condition that causes malfunction of the heart rate.
Cardiomyopathy A change in the strength or formation of the heart muscle structure.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) A common disease that causes the restricting of the artery passages that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.
Ejection fraction An evaluation of the function of the left ventricle, also called left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF).
Ischemia (perfusion) The restriction of oxygen and blood flow to the heart muscle.
Myocardial Infarction (viability) A heart attack that occurs when oxygenated blood vessels become blocked.