By injecting very small amounts of a mildly radioactive substance, then tracking its progress through the heart, cardiologists at Phoebe can detect the presence and severity of coronary artery disease.
A traditional exercise test with an EKG can indicate changes in heart function, but generally can't pinpoint the cause. Nuclear cardiology can actually create an image of these changes, allowing cardiologists at Phoebe to see how well the arteries surrounding the heart are working.
A valuable extension to traditional exercise testing
Nuclear imaging is a valuable tool that can show abnormal blood flow to the heart or assess damage to the heart after a heart attack.
The patient is injected with a mildly radioactive substance that mixes with the blood. The presence and location of the radioactive material is detected and tracked by a special device called a gamma camera. If the material doesn't reach an area of the heart, it means that the arteries to that area may be blocked or there may be damage to the heart.
Phoebe was an early adopter of nuclear medicine
The Phoebe Heart Center was the first in the region to use nuclear cardiology for heart patient testing, when it was shown that a nuclear heart scan could be superior to a traditional exercise test in evaluating heart patients.
For more information about heart treatment options or to schedule an appointment, please call the Phoebe Heart and Vascular Center at (229) 312-4438.