nuclear imaging for heart disease

Nuclear imaging is used to assess how organs function. Safe, small amounts of a radioactive solution are injected into the body. This gives off a small amount of radiation that is detected with a nuclear scanning camera. A computer processes the information and produces the images of the radioactivity distributed in the heart. The exposure to radiation is comparable to that from an X-ray or CAT (CT) scan.

If an area receives less blood than the rest of the heart because of a blocked or narrowed artery, it will pick up a lower level of radioactivity and will show up as a lighter area, called a "defect."

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