You’ve just had a complete physical done. However, your doctor is asking you to get extra tests done to evaluate the condition of your heart. He has asked for a Cardiac PET and a scintigraphy to be done and you are wondering whether these tests are going to be as painful as they sound! Fortunately, both of these tests are relatively painless and they evaluate the working of the heart .
The PET test or the Positron Emission Tomography test is a very common. The procedure is done by injected a positron-emission radionuclide into the body. The radionuclide is attached to a biologically active molecule, which the heart cells can use. As it enters the blood vessels around the heart, it is picked up by the cardiac cells. The cells modify the material and the PET scanner uses these actions to take images of the working heart. The PET scanner test is the most common test in nuclear medical care and it is relatively painless. The radionuclide solution may be provided through IV or as an inhalation solution. The only discomfort for the patient is that they have to lie still as the solution passes through the body and the imaging procedure is complete. This may vary anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. Scintigraphy is a very similar test. It also uses injected, inhaled or ingested radionuclides to create images. The passage of the radioactive material through the body is recorded with a special camera called the Gamma camera. The camera only records gamma radiation emitted by the radionuclide and it create a very clear image of the human body.
• The PET scan and the scintigraphy process are relatively safe. We do recommend that you follow the instructions provided by the doctor and radiology technician.
• You may have to fast for 12 hours before the procedure.
• Some people are allergic to the contrast medium or the radioactive matter. Please indicate any allergies that you might have.
• The PET scan may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes.
• Both procedures are completely safe. You may experience a little discomfort from the IV and an urinary catheter if it is required.
• You will be told to consume a lot of liquid to flush out all the radioactive material from the body.
Almost every Nuclear Medicine Service center will offer these services. However, they can be expensive. We recommend that you call up the center and fix an appointment. Your physician will also recommend a Nuclear Medicine Service where you can book an appointment. Please remember to follow the instructions that are provided before booking the appointment.