Baylor Heart Hospital Plano - Five Star Treatment For Your Heart. And You
 
5-Star Difference
For Patients & Visitors
For Health Professionals
Medical Specialties
Login
Return to the Homepage
Physician Finder
Pre-Registration
Email Executive Leadership
5-Star Careers
My Personal Login
Newsletter Sign-up

Quick Links

  • The Heart Hospital

    Baylor Plano

    1100 Allied Drive
    Plano, TX 75093
  • The Heart Hospital

    Baylor Denton

    2801 S. Mayhill Road
    Denton, TX 76208
  • Appointments and Referrals

    1.800.4BAYLOR
  • For Assistance in Reaching a Patient

    469.81HEART
    (469.814.3278)
  • Toll-Free
    877.814.4488



Nuclear Imaging
 
This is an abbreviated version of the complete article.*
Basic Facts
During nuclear imaging, physicians inject a small amount of a radioactive isotope, called a tracer, into a person's bloodstream.
Cameras record the distribution of the isotope through the bloodstream and heart muscle and produce images of the heart that help physicians evaluate heart function or locate exactly where the heart muscle may not be receiving enough blood.
The radioactive isotopes used in nuclear imaging lose their radioactivity quickly and typically pass from the body within 24 hours.
One way in which a physician diagnoses coronary heart disease is through nuclear imaging. During nuclear imaging, a small dose of a radioactive isotope is injected into the bloodstream. The radioisotope, or tracer, is carried through the bloodstream and into the myocardium, or heart muscle. Special cameras detect the radiation released from the tracers and record information about the heart muscle and blood flow. This information is then used to produce images of the heart on a computer screen or film.

The different types of nuclear imaging include:

  • Myocardioal perfusion scan, used to evaluate blood flow; and
  • Radionuclide ventriculography, which measures ejection fraction, stroke volume, and cardiac output.
PRE-TEST GUIDELINES

Patients are advised to avoid the following prior to nuclear imaging:
  • Eating and drinking;
  • Smoking;
  • Drinking alcohol;
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages; and
  • Taking nonprescription medications.
In some instances, patients may be asked to discontinue a prescription medication.

RISK FACTORS FOR POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS

Nuclear imaging is not advisable for pregnant or nursing women.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Nuclear imaging is done in a hospital or an outpatient healthcare facility. An electrocardiogram is usually taken before nuclear imaging begins. An IV, or intravenous catheter, is placed in the arm to administer the tracer. The patient lies on his or her back on a padded table under a camera. A small amount of tracer is injected into the catheter, and then the camera moves, capturing images at different angles or rotating slowly around the patient.

Completion times for nuclear imaging scans vary but may take up to 4 hours.

POST-TEST GUIDELINES

Patients are instructed to drink fluids to help flush the radioactive tracer.

POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS

Complications associated with nuclear imaging include a slight risk of developing angina or arrhythmias.

*If you would like to read this article in its entirety, please call our office and ask to meet with one of our specialists to receive a Prescription Pad form.

*If you already have a Prescription Pad form, please login and follow the instructions listed on the form. If you experience any issues during the registration process, please call member services at 1-800-603-1420 for assistance.
Copyright © 2014 NorthPoint Domain, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material cannot be reproduced in digital or printed form without the express consent of NorthPoint Domain, Inc. Unauthorized copying or distribution of NorthPoint Domain's Content is an infringement of the copyright holder's rights.
Terms and Conditions   |   Feedback   |   Privacy Statement

Developed and hosted by Cardiology Domain.
© Copyright 2000-2014. NorthPoint Domain Inc. All rights reserved.
ICS-PR-WEB01