Myocardial scintigraphy, also known as myocardial perfusion imaging or cardiac SPECT (single-photon emission computed tomography), is a type of heart scintigraphy that uses a radiotracer to evaluate the blood flow and function of the heart muscle.
During the procedure, a small amount of a radioactive substance, such as technetium-99m or thallium-201, is injected into a vein in the arm. The radiotracer is taken up by the heart muscle and emits gamma rays that are detected by a special camera, which creates images of the heart.
Myocardial scintigraphy is often used to diagnose coronary artery disease and assess the extent and severity of damage to the heart muscle following a heart attack. It can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment, such as angioplasty or bypass surgery.
The test is generally safe and well-tolerated, although there is a small risk of allergic reaction to the radiotracer. Patients may be asked to avoid certain medications or foods prior to the test, and they may need to rest for a period of time afterward to allow the radiotracer to be eliminated from the body.
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