PET Scan

What is a PET scan?

PET, or positron emission tomography, uses higher energy isotopes to achieve a better image of the heart than the standard nuclear camera. Although PET scanners have been used for brain studies and oncology, they’ve fairly new to cardiology.

What is involved in the test?

This test takes about an hour. Upon arrival, you will change into a gown, a blood pressure cuff will be placed around your arm, and EKG leads will be applied to your chest. A technician will also prepare you for an IV. You will lie down on a table and have a series of camera images taken while you remain as still as possible.

Why do I need an IV?

During the stress procedure of the test, you will be given a medication that simulates the effects of exercise. We use two types of medication: Adenosine and Dipyridamole. These medications can make people experience such symptoms as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Flushing of the face
  • Nausea
  • Heart rate elevation

This test requires a referral from your cardiologist or primary care physician. If the test is normal, you will have the results within five working days. If the test reveals a problem, you will be notified immediately.