If you have symptoms that indicate a heart problem but standard tests like an EKG aren't finding the cause, a cardiac PET stress test could provide the answers you need. Ronald Levine, MD, and Ronald Caputo, MD, FACC, FSCAI, of Levine Heart & Wellness in Naples, Florida, are highly skilled cardiologists who use the most advanced diagnostic techniques to get to the root of your heart condition. Find out more about cardiac PET stress testing by calling Levine Heart & Wellness today or book an appointment using the online form.
PET stands for positron emission tomography — a kind of diagnostic imaging scan that uses a special dye containing radioactive tracers. A cardiac PET stress test shows if your heart is suffering a reduction in blood flow and if there are any areas of damage or scar tissue.
You receive an injection of the dye before going into the PET scanner. For a stress test, you also receive medications that put your heart under the same sort of stress as if you'd been exercising. The tracers in the dye then highlight any problem areas in your heart.
A cardiac PET stress test can help diagnose conditions like coronary artery disease (CAD), cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, and heart valve disease.
You might need to undergo a cardiac PET stress test if you have symptoms of a heart problem. These symptoms include:
Typically, your provider at Levine Heart & Wellness uses an electrocardiogram (EKG) to diagnose heart problems. Sometimes, however, certain issues don't show up on an EKG. If so, you might need to undergo a cardiac stress test.
The cardiac stress test involves having another EKG, but this time, it’s after exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle. Alternatively, you can have a cardiac PET stress test, in which you take medication rather than exercising.
A cardiac PET stress test can also be useful in evaluating the outcomes of treatment you receive for heart disease.
Before you have your cardiac PET stress test, your provider at Levine Heart & Wellness gives you some simple instructions on how to prepare. For example, you shouldn’t exercise or eat for a few hours prior to the test, and avoid anything containing caffeine.
The first step in the cardiac PET stress test procedure is getting an IV in your arm that feeds the dye containing the radioactive tracers and the stress-inducing medication into your blood. It takes around an hour for your body to absorb the tracers.
You have electrodes stuck to your chest that connect to an EKG machine. When you're ready for the scan, you lie on a table that moves you into the PET scanner. You need to remain as still as you can while the scan takes place.
After your cardiac PET stress test, your provider at Levine Heart & Wellness discusses the findings with you and any treatment you might need. You can then go on with your day as normal.
Find out what's causing your cardiac symptoms by calling Levine Heart & Wellness today or booking an appointment online.