Heart PET scan

What is Heart PET Scan?

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is a modern technique of imaging body tissues and diagnosing whatever problems are present. It provides direct information on the metabolic function of living tissues and organs by using specialized molecular probes to measure the levels of activity in the areas being studied. When used to scan the heart, a PET scan can provide information on the heart’s function, enabling us to observe the heart in action. A Heart PET Scan detects the presence of heart damage among other findings.

Preparation for Heart PET Scan

Most Heart PET scans do not require any special preparation. You will be asked to lie flat on a table while the scan is being taken. You may also be asked to stand or sit depending on your individual case. You should make sure that the area being scanned is free from constricting articles of clothing such as belts or jewelry, as these can interfere with the process of imaging.

You will also need to inform your technician if you have any allergies or if you have taken any medications or supplements in the last 72 hours prior to the scan.

Types of Heart PET Scans

There are two types of Heart PET scan: A PET perfusion scan and a PET myocardial viability scan. A PET perfusion scan evaluates the heart’s blood supply. It can detect blockages in the coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood. A PET myocardial viability scan measures how well the heart is functioning by detecting areas of myocardial scarring or damage. The information from this type of scan helps doctors decide what kind of treatment, such as angioplasty, bypass surgery, or drug therapy, is most appropriate.

Risks of Heart PET Scan

A Heart PET Scan is a non-invasive, safe procedure with very few risks. It uses radioactive isotopes, such as fluorine-18 and nitrogen-13, that are injected into the patient to provide the functional images of the heart. There is a very small risk of an allergic reaction to the isotopes used during the scan but this rarely happens. There is also a small risk of radiation exposure, but this is greatly minimized with modern scanning technology.

Why it is Done

PET scans provide important information about the heart’s function that can be used to diagnose and evaluate various conditions, such as heart attack, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease. The scan can help doctors decide which treatments might be most effective. It can also be used to monitor the progression of treatment and to detect recurrent heart tissue damage.

When to do Heart PET Scan

A Heart PET scan is usually performed by a doctor who suspects that there may be an issue with the patient’s heart or if further testing is needed to confirm a diagnosis. A Heart PET scan may also be recommended if changes in heart structure or function have been noted on other tests, such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan, or if certain treatments, such as chemotherapy, are planned for the patient.