Topic: Cardiac Scans
Cardiac scans are special tests doctors order to determine how heart muscle functions, and if there is any muscle damage. There are three major types of scans that are commonly used: technetium pyrophosphate (also called infarct or hot spot myocardial imaging), thallium (also called cold spot myocardial imaging, myocardial perfusion scintigraphy, or MIBI stress test), and cardiac blood pool scanning (also called a MUGA scan). A newer technique not yet in widespread use is the PET scan (positron emission tomography).
• All of these scans involve the injection of a radioactive substance (isotope) into the bloodstream that allows imaging of the heart muscle.
• These procedures can all be done on an outpatient basis, like regular X-rays.
• You will be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
• There is a small risk of infection caused by introducing the injection through the skin.
• Because the isotope has a very small amount of radiation and lasts only a short time in the body, risk of radiation exposure is very small