Nuclear Imaging Tests
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Getting to the Source of Your Heart Trouble
When your heart condition requires advanced testing, rely on the expertise of the New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) Heart Center to provide you with exceptional care. Nuclear imaging tests help your cardiologist pinpoint the source of your heart trouble so you receive the precise treatment you need.
Types of Cardiac Nuclear Imaging Tests We Offer
At NHRMC Heart Center, we perform thousands of cardiac diagnostic and screening procedures each year. Our nuclear imaging department offers these three types of heart diagnostic tests:
A PET (positron emission tomography) scan uses a small amount of radioactive dye to identify narrowed arteries in the heart. Except for the intravenous (IV) line, this test is noninvasive. It allows your cardiologist to pinpoint the exact spot where an artery has become narrowed.
Sometimes a regular exercise stress test does not provide enough information for your doctor to accurately diagnose your heart disease. In that case, your cardiologist may ask you to take a nuclear exercise stress test.
In this exam, a small amount of radioactive dye is injected into your bloodstream. When you walk on a treadmill or pedal a bike in our lab, a special camera is used to trace the path of the dye and identify any narrowed arteries in your heart.
If you are unable to walk on a treadmill or pedal a stationary bike, you may need to undergo a pharmacological nuclear stress test, also called a chemical stress test.
During this procedure, your cardiologist injects medications into your bloodstream to dilate the blood vessels of your heart in the same way they would expand during exercise. This allows your cardiologist to assess how well your heart performs during activity.