Cardiac Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

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Using cardiac positron emission tomography, or cardiac PET, doctors can see new levels of detail and spot heart problems early when viewing your heart and blood flow.

The cardiac PET can: 

  • Check your blood flow and find blockages that might not be seen using traditional tests
  • Get a clear picture of the shape of your heart and view any lasting damage from earlier cardiac issues

This cardiac imaging technology is an important tool we can now use to make sure you're getting the best possible treatment for your heart.

How Cardiac PET Works

A radioisotope is injected into your bloodstream through an IV. The material is safe and has only a small amount of radioactivity. There is a low risk of complications.

  • With the radioisotope in your bloodstream, the PET machine takes images of your heart to give the best possible view of blood flow and potential heart damage.
  • The radioactive material has a half-life of just 10 minutes, which means the material will quickly pass through your system.

What To Expect With Your PET Imaging

  • If you're referred for a PET scan and make an appointment, you should allow about two hours for the entire procedure.
  • When you arrive, a technologist greets you and brings you back to the exam room. They'll place an IV in your arm and small EKG pads on your chest. 
  • For the imaging, you'll be asked to lie flat on the scanner bed. You'll have two sets of images taken: one at rest and one under stress. Each will take 15 minutes.
  • During imaging, a technologist is present at all times.

Who Should Get a Cardiac PET Scan?

For most patients, traditional heart imaging methods will be enough. 

Reasons for getting a cardiac PET scan include:

Payment

Check with your insurance company to see if they cover cardiac PET scans. If they don't or you're not sure, let us know and we'll work with your provider.