Nuclear Stress Tests

nuc1Cutting Edge Nuclear Imaging System at Cardiovascular Institute of Scottsdale Hastens Diagnosis of Heart Disease

The high-speed D-SPECT digital gamma system provides excellent images with a fraction of the radiation dose. This camera is a huge leap forward from all other available technology for accuracy, speed, comfort and safety for our patients and providing ultra low-dose imaging capability.

A single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) camera is used to measure heart muscle blood flow and function for patients with heart disease or suspected heart problems. This very popular technique uses a safe, very low dose of radioactive tracer to create 3-D images or “moving maps”, that show the blood low through the heart muscle and heart chambers.

Patients can now be evaluated very safely with a fraction of the radiation dose available by other invasive and non-invasive x-ray coronary imaging methods and without the use of contrast agents, a known risk for patients with kidney disease.

For patients who cannot exercise and require a medication stress test, D-SPECT continues to offer important safety advantages. The stress medication, regadenoson (Lexiscan), is the most widely prescribed pharmacologic stress agent, and has been proven safe for patients with advanced stages of kidney disease, asthma and emphysema in recent large clinical trials.

The D-SPECT system, located in our main office, offers a 10-fold increase in sensitivity and enhances spatial resolution, similar to cardiac PET scan. The enhanced sensitivity allows nuclear cardiologists to reduce the amount of radioactive material to ultra-low dose levels never before achieved.

Results of personalized patient-centered imaging using D-SPECT technology allows cardiologists to determine the need for heart catheterization, angioplasty or bypass surgery, or medications for patients with heart disease. In addition, nuclear imaging helps doctors evaluate the effectiveness of these therapies.

nuc2The open design of the scanner allows patients to sit in a reclining chair, similar to those in the dentist’s office, and the camera is positioned in front of the patient’s chest to capture the images. It is a significant benefit for people who experience claustrophobia during similar imaging tests that involved passing through a donut-shaped scanner.