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Winthrop University Hospital

Nuclear Cardiology

Nuclear Cardiology is the branch of clinical cardiology that performs noninvasive tests, utilizing small amounts of radioactive material to evaluate the heart. The small amount of radioactive substances used are called tracers. They allow your cardiologist to evaluate you for the presence of heart disease. The radioactive substance is injected into a vein and will for a short time adhere to the heart muscle. The amount of material present in the heart is detected by a special camera. This camera is termed a "Gamma Camera" and is in essence a technologically sophisticated "geiger counter." The images that it produces can let your doctor know how well your heart is functioning and if any area of the heart is not getting enough blood. Lack of blood flow to areas of the heart may indicate that there are narrowed parts in the coronary arteries or possible problems with the heart muscle itself.

Nuclear Cardiac Images

The images produced by the nuclear imaging study show the muscle of the heart in different colors. These different colors correlate to the different areas of the heart and the amount of blood that area is receiving. By comparing images of the heart at rest and when it is beating fast (under stress) doctors can assess the change in blood flow to a particular area, which may indicate the presence of coronary artery disease.

Nuclear Stress Testing is the most common nuclear cardiology exam done today throughout the country. The exam may be requested by your cardiologist for many different reasons. Indications for nuclear stress testing include:
  • Evaluation of chest
  • Assessment and Prognosis of cardiovascular disease
  • Evaluation of therapy
  • Screening for latent coronary disease
  • Early detection of labile hypertension
  • Evaluation of congestive heart failure
  • Pre-participation examination for sports
  • Evaluation of congenital heart disease
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259 First Street | Mineola NY 11501 | 516-663-0333


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