Nuclear Cardiology

8th Floor, Counter D (WEST Lift)

Tel. 02-090-3104

8:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.

Nuclear Cardiology

Nuclear Cardiology is a diagnostic modality for assessing cardiac function. This examination provides images of the heart muscle contraction, movement, and rhythm, helping doctors diagnose and differentiate various heart diseases more accurately.

What is Nuclear Cardiology?

Nuclear Cardiology is a diagnostic cardiac imaging for assessing cardiac muscle function abnormalities with radiopharmaceuticals. These radiopharmaceuticals are injected into a vein and emit radiation energy, allowing external diagnostic equipment to delineate abnormalities within the heart without performing a tissue biopsy.

Generally, patients may be wary of radiation exposure; however, for diagnostic imaging, patients receive only a minuscule radiation dose, which decays and is eliminated quickly from the body, making it safe and non-hazardous to organs like the kidneys or liver. Nuclear Cardiology examinations can diagnose various heart diseases and heart muscle conditions, such as:

  • Commonly encountered coronary artery heart diseases and heart failure.
  • Rare and complex heart conditions like cardiac amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

Why should you come for a Nuclear Cardiology examination at MedPark?

  • Diagnosis by skillful nuclear cardiologists with over 25 years of experience
  • Collaboration with doctors from other specialties, providing consultation and access to relevant examination and treatment data for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
  • Experienced nuclear medicine technologists with proficiency in operating nuclear cardiology instrumentation and equipment
  • Efficient and precise diagnosis facilitated by advanced medical equipment and tools.
  • Medical staff are ready to treat abnormal heart conditions promptly upon diagnosis.
  • The cardiac rehabilitation physician team, physical therapists, and nutritionists are available to provide post-treatment care and promote heart health for improved quality of life.

Diseases and Abnormalities Related to Nuclear Cardiology

  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Heart failure
  • Abnormalities of the heart muscle (coronary syndrome), including various syndromes such as ischemic cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM)
  • Bundle branch block.
  • Other respiratory abnormalities, such as shortness of breath

Abnormal symptoms that require Nuclear Cardiology

  • Chest pain or discomfort radiates to shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back.
  • Easily fatigued during physical activities such as walking long distances or climbing stairs.
  • Weakness, inability to lie flat.
  • Shortness of breath, dyspnea.
  • Palpitations, rapid heartbeat.
  • Swelling in the arms, legs, or feet.

Who is at risk for these symptoms?

Factors contributing to heart and coronary artery disease abnormalities include:

  • Family history of hereditary heart diseases like cardiomyopathy
  • History of abnormal heart electrical activity
  • Chronic diseases affecting heart function, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, or high blood lipid levels.
  • Various unhealthy habits and behaviors, such as smoking, high-fat diet, and sedentary lifestyle

Nuclear cardiology procedure

Myocardial Perfusion GATED SPECT-CT Stress-Rest: utilizing Tc-99m MIBI to locate the ischemic muscle regions, which involves comparing two sets of imaging scans performed during the following two stages:

  • Resting stage
  • Exercise stage: A patient either walks on a treadmill or receives a pharmacologic agent to stimulate heart contractions, mimicking conditions during exercise.

Compare the test results of both stages to locate the site with reduced perfusion and to consider suitable treatment approaches.

Equipment and instruments utilized in Nuclear Cardiology

  • A treadmill 
  • A SPECT/CT scanner detected the gamma ray emitted from 99mTc-MIBI to assess the performance of cardiac muscles and the left ventricle.

Potential risks and complications of nuclear cardiology imaging

Nuclear cardiology tests pose minimal risks, complications, or danger from radiation. The harms of radioactive materials generally are proportional to the amount of radioactive material used in the test. Typically, a dose of radioactive material used in a nuclear cardiology diagnostic test is less than in a therapeutic procedure and leaves no residual radioactive material.

When using stimulating pharmacologic agents in place of exercise on a treadmill to simulate heart activity during exercise, potential side effects may include low blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms are temporary and not harmful.

Nevertheless, nuclear cardiology tests are not for pregnant women or those who suspect they are pregnant, given that radiation exposure can harm the fetus.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the radiopharmaceutical used in Nuclear Cardiology examinations harmful?
    No, it is not hazardous and does not affect other organs. Medical statistics show that radiation-induced cancer mortality is about 0.05% (1 in 2,000), while the risk from other factors could be as high as 25% (1 in 4).
  • Radioactive substances employed in nuclear cardiology pose no threat or harm to surrounding organs. Medical data indicates that the likelihood of cancer-related mortality from these substances stands at a mere 0.05 percent (1 in 2,000 individuals), significantly lower than the 25 percent (1 in 4) risk posed by other causes.
  • How long do the radiopharmaceutical agents used in Nuclear Cardiology imaging require for complete decay?
    Approximately 24 hours, depending on the type of radiopharmaceutical used.

Related Packages

Published: 23 Apr 2024


Related Doctors

  • Link to doctor
    Dr Chad Wanishsawad

    Dr Chad Wanishsawad

    • Cardiology & Vascular Disease
    • Interventional Cardiology
    • Nuclear Cardiology
    Cardiac Arrhythmias, Cardiovascular Disease, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention