Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Clinic in Downey, CA
Using cardiac imaging, such as myocardial perfusion imaging, doctors can determine if your heart is receiving enough blood and whether it is pumping efficiently. It is also used to diagnose damaged heart muscle in a heart attack. Myocardial perfusion imaging is performed at Cardiovascular Medical Associates by our experienced board-certified cardiologist, Kaushal Tamboli, MD FACC, and his team of experts. For more information, call us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Downey, CA and surrounding areas.
Table of Contents:
What is involved in a myocardial perfusion scan?
How long does a myocardial perfusion imaging test take?
How do I prepare for the myocardial perfusion test?
What is the average cost of myocardial perfusion imaging?
Myocardial perfusion is a type of imaging test also known as a nuclear stress test. This test measures how well blood flows through the heart muscle. Additionally, it shows how well the heart is pumping. In the case of a heart attack, it may be used to discover areas of the damaged heart muscle. Exercise and rest are both acceptable times for this test.
A radioactive tracer is used in myocardial perfusion scans to detect a small amount of radioactive substance. Bloodstream carries the tracer, which is absorbed by heart muscle in healthy individuals. The areas that absorb tracer appear different on the scan than those that do not.
In areas with poor blood flow or damaged tissue, the tracer cannot be absorbed. In some cases, the damaged areas are referred to as cold spots or defects.
When the heart muscle is stressed, a stress myocardial perfusion scan measures blood flow. Exercise usually stresses the heart. However, if you are unable to exercise, you may be able to stress your heart by taking a medication that increases your heart rate or dilates your blood vessels.
Using a special camera, a radioactive tracer is injected outside the body and detected using radioactive energy. During stress and later at rest, the camera takes images of the heart and a comparison is made between the two sets of images.
A myocardial perfusion imaging test can typically take between 3 and 4 hours to complete.
You will have small patches called electrodes placed on your chest, arms, and legs by your doctor. Your heart rate will be tracked by a machine connected to wires. Your blood pressure will also be recorded with a cuff on your arm.
There are likely to be treadmills or stationary bicycles available for you to use. The doctor will inject a small amount of radioactive material into your bloodstream near the end of the exercise. As it circulates through your body, it will mix with your blood.
It is possible that fasting is required before the procedure. You will receive instructions from your doctor on how long you should withhold food and liquids.
During pharmacologic myocardial perfusion scans, theophylline and caffeine-containing medications must be avoided. The consumption of coffee, even decaffeinated coffee, is prohibited since it contains caffeine. It is possible for asthma medications to contain theophylline. Ensure that your doctor is aware of your asthma.
48 hours before the test, theophylline medications should be stopped. Food and drinks containing caffeine and all medications that contain caffeine should be held for 12 to 24 hours. A number of over-the-counter medications contain caffeine, including Anacin, Excedrin, and NoDoz. Specific instructions should be obtained from your physician.
The costs of myocardial perfusion imaging can differ significantly, but on average the costs range between $1000 and $3000. In certain cases, insurance coverage may be applicable to this test; patients can ask about potential coverage to find out more.
Despite the high costs, myocardial perfusion imaging proves well worth it for many patients. When coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart, become too narrow and oxygen and fresh blood are insufficient, serious health problems, such as ischaemic heart disease can occur. This can even result in a sudden heart attack without prior warning.
Using cardiac imaging, such as myocardial perfusion imaging, doctors can determine if your heart is receiving enough blood and whether it is pumping efficiently. In addition, it can detect signs of coronary artery disease, obstructed CAD, and even heart attack damage.
Myocardial perfusion imaging is available at Cardiovascular Medical Associates. For more information, call us. We serve patients from Downey CA, Norwalk CA, Lynwood CA, Cerritos CA, Lakewood CA, Whittier CA and surrounding areas.