A cardiac PET scan is a noninvasive nuclear imaging test that produces detailed images of your heart. At Capitol Cardiology Associates, with offices in Lanham, Bowie, Camp Springs, Silver Spring, Laurel, and Largo, Maryland, the experienced cardiologists use cardiac PET scans to diagnose damage from a heart attack or other issues. This scan can also help determine whether you’re a good candidate for heart surgery, so don’t wait to get the information you need. Call the office nearest you or book your appointment online today.
A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is a noninvasive heart imaging test. It’s a type of nuclear imaging, which means a PET scan detects radiation to create pictures of your heart.
A cardiac PET scan may detect heart problems early, before other imaging tests can do so. PET scans can accurately diagnose coronary artery disease and can also pinpoint areas where you have low blood flow in your heart.
In addition, cardiac PET scans can determine what parts of your heart are still working and which parts are nonfunctional. So, you may need this scan to determine whether you’d benefit from percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) like angioplasty and stenting or coronary artery bypass surgery.
In a cardiac PET scan, your Capitol Cardiology Associates provider injects a tracer (the radioactive material) into your bloodstream. The tracers used for a PET scan are primarily natural bodily compounds like water, glucose, and ammonia with a tiny amount of radioactive material added.
Once inside your body, the tracer emits a gamma ray, a type of energy. A gamma detector then recognizes those gamma rays and uses them to create detailed pictures of your heart. A cardiac PET scan includes images from many different directions to create a comprehensive view of your heart.
Your doctor analyzes the images to find the tracer. The way your heart absorbs and uses the tracer reveals how well the heart’s functioning. Your doctor evaluates the different parts of your heart in detail to determine what heart problems you have and what kind of treatment you might need.
Cardiac PET scans are safe for most patients because they use only a small amount of radiation. Your body flushes the radiation out through your kidneys quite rapidly.
Capitol Cardiology Associates provides complete instructions for you ahead of time. You’ll need to fast for four to six hours before your cardiac PET scan. You may need to avoid caffeine for a full 24 hours ahead of the test.
Your provider discusses all your medications with you before the cardiac PET scan. You may need to skip a dose of some medications before the procedure.
Call Capitol Cardiology Associates or click on the online scheduler to make your appointment now.