The Role of Nuclear Testing in Cardiac Care

Human heart glowing in chest

Nuclear medicine is a type of medical imaging that utilizes small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and treat disease. Common nuclear tests include exercise stress tests, chemical stress tests, cardiac viability studies, exercise treadmill stress test, and multi-acquisition gated scan (MUGA) procedures. While nuclear testing is often utilized to evaluate the liver, lungs, gallbladder, and thyroid gland, it has also been shown to be extremely effective in cardiac care :

Diagnosing Cardiac Conditions
Nuclear testing may be performed to diagnose a wide array of cardiac conditions. Common diseases or conditions identified through nuclear testing include coronary artery disease, right-sided heart failure, and valvular heart disease. Nuclear medicine can also identify and quantify shunts (patterns of blood flow that deviate from the normal circulatory system), blockages, chemotherapy cardiac toxicity, heart transplant rejection, and acute heart attacks.

Assessing Eligibility for Procedures
In addition to identifying potential problems and assessing your risk for certain cardiac conditions, nuclear medicine may also be utilized to assess your candidacy for treatment. For example, your heart doctor will typically order several nuclear tests before determining your eligibility for an angiogram or stent procedure.

Measuring Effectiveness of Treatment
In some cases, nuclear tests are performed in order to measure the effectiveness of a specific treatment method, typically bypass and therapy for heart failure. This makes nuclear testing even more important in cardiac care.

Whether you are interested in nuclear testing, an echocardiogram, a vascular ultrasound, or arrhythmia detection, the heart doctors and staff members with Cardiac Solutions in Phoenix are here to help. Give our heart center a call at (602) 714-9630 or visit us online to set up an initial consultation with one of our cardiologists. We provide a number of services in the Avondale, Sun City West, Glendale, and Peoria areas. 

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