Heart PET Scan
Cardiologists in Fair Lawn, NJ
What is a PET Scan?
Also known as a positron emission tomography scan, a PET scan uses a substance called a radioactive tracer to show how your organs and tissues are working. This tracer is injected into your body via an IV on your arm. From there, it will travel through your blood, collecting in organs and tissues such as your heart.
After the tracer is absorbed, which may take up to an hour, you will be asked to lie on a table, which will then slide you into a scanner. During this time, you will have electrodes for an electrocardiogram on your chest so your heart rate can be monitored. As you lie in the scanner, a computer will generate 3D images of your organs so that your doctor can pinpoint the exact location of your issue.
Why should I get a heart PET Scan?
If your doctor has ordered a heart PET scan, it is either because you are experiencing heart trouble, or an additional test such as an echocardiogram or cardiac stress test has not provided enough information to give a conclusive diagnosis. If you are experiencing any of the following, it is important to seek medical attention immediately:
- Tightness in your chest
- Sharp pain in your chest
- Trouble breathing
- Irregular heartbeat
PET scans will assist in revealing the size, shape, and current function of your heart. While the PET scan may be used in making the initial diagnosis, it is also helpful in showing how your heart is responding to any current treatments.
Results and Recovery
When the test is finished, the technician will remove the ECG from your chest, and the images will be sent to your doctor for analysis.
Because the amount of radiation is low, and there is no pain, this will most likely be an outpatient procedure and you will be able to go home that day. If you were given any sort of medicine to relax, you should have a driver to bring you home.
It is also suggested that you drink a great deal of fluid in order to flush the tracers out of your system. However, they will naturally flush from your body within a matter of days.