Cardiac nuclear medicine scans evaluate the heart for coronary artery disease and heart failure or cardiomyopathy. It also may be used to help determine whether the heart has been damaged by chemotherapy or medications. The radiopharmaceutical passes through the blood stream and is concentrated in the heart. A gamma camera or scanner is then positioned in front of the heart to capture the images from the gamma rays emitted from the radiopharmaceutical.
Nuclear medicine heart scans can be used to;
- Non-invasively assess the blood flow to the heart and confirm or exclude coronary artery disease in patients with chest pain
- Assess the contractility of the heart in patients with heart failure
- Closely monitor the function of the heart in patients taking chemotherapy or medication that affects the contractility
- Assess whether coronary artery bypass grafts or stents have become occluded (blocked)