Nuclear cardiology is a safe and painless imaging technology that uses small amounts of radioactive substances (tracers) and a special camera to test for a variety of heart conditions, including coronary artery disease (CAD)—the leading cause of death of men and women in the U.S. Sansum Clinic Nuclear Cardiology offers state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization using low-radiation, high-resolution digital equipment that maximizes both patient safety and image quality.
How Nuclear Cardiology Testing Works
During a nuclear cardiology ‘stress test’, a small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into a vein—these radioactive materials are naturally ‘attracted’ to specific organs, including the heart. A special gamma camera than takes two sets of images and video of the heart—one set at rest, and one during exercise, usually on a treadmill or stationary bike. These cardiac images help determine:
- The amount of blood circulation within the heart
- Reduced blood flow associated with coronary artery disease or other abnormalities
- Severity of prior heart attacks
- Risk of future heart attacks
- Cause of chest pain, shortness of breath or chronic fatigue
- The best course of treatment if you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease
Our nuclear cardiology specialists work closely with other specialty departments associated with the medical faculty at Sansum Clinic, including our Anticoagulation Clinic, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Internal Medicine, Neurology and Pulmonary & Critical Care to provide the ideal treatment plan for each patient.
Scheduling a Nuclear Cardiology Appointment
Nuclear cardiology referrals are made through primary care physicians and/or fellow cardiologists. For more information, please call (805) 898-3138.