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Nuclear Cardiology

At Aster Hospitals, we are eager to help you restore your heart to its healthy beat. Your doctor may want you to undergo nuclear cardiology imaging to detect any issues related to the heart or to assess your heart after undergoing a procedure. You can avail the best services with a dedicated nuclear cardiology team at Aster Hospitals.

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the world. In the last two decades. Several technologies have been developed for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. Nuclear cardiology has played a vital role in making the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease easier. Not only this, it has helped to predict the outcomes of heart diseases as well.

Nuclear cardiology uses noninvasive diagnostic techniques to assess the myocardial blood flow. It also evaluates the heart's pumping function and looks at the size and location of a heart attack. Most nuclear cardiology studies use a conventional gamma camera with a sodium iodide detector and single photon emission computed tomography. New generation cameras are available these days that have higher sensitivity and resolution. Among the various techniques used in nuclear cardiology, the most widely used is myocardial perfusion imaging.

Myocardial perfusion imaging

Myocardial perfusion images are usually combined with exercise to assess the blood flow through the heart. Exercise may be done by walking on the treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle. A chemical stress test can be performed on people who can't exercise. A medicine is given to such patients, and the heart's blood flow is recorded. It provides information similar to a stress test.

A small amount of dye is usually injected into the bloodstream during rest or exercise. A scanning device measures the amount of dye the heart takes up during rest and exercise. The heart muscle will not receive enough blood supply if a significant artery blockage occurs. The captured images can detect this decrease in blood flow.

Myocardial perfusion studies can quickly identify the areas of the heart muscle that do not have sufficient blood supply and those that are entirely deprived. Additionally, perfusion studies can identify people at increased risk of getting a heart attack. It also identifies the candidates who should undergo coronary angiography, angioplasty, and heart attack.

Cardiac evaluation using radionuclide ventriculography

Radionuclide ventriculography is a noninvasive study that provides information regarding the heart's pumping action. Assessment of the heart's pumping function, otherwise known as ejection fraction, is of paramount importance in people who have had a heart attack. A small amount of dye is injected into the bloodstream. Once the dye reaches the heart, images of the heart's four chambers are taken using a gamma camera. These techniques usually provide information regarding the function of the heart's valves, the integrity of the heart's chambers, and the effect of different medicines on the heart muscle. Radionuclide ventriculography often accurately evaluates cardiac function and predicts the outcomes in patients who suffer from a heart attack.

Imaging of the nervous system of the heart

The heart has a nervous system that plays a crucial role in its proper functioning. Whenever the heart muscle is damaged, the heart's nervous system is impaired, leading to abnormal heart function. Imaging agents are injected into the bloodstream, and the gamma camera imagines the nervous system. The information can be used in the management of patients with heart failure.

Positron emission tomography

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a noninvasive test that provides information about the heart's metabolic activity and blood supply. These tests can outline the heart muscle not getting enough blood supply because of blockage in the heart's arteries. These studies can show if the heart is scarred from attacks in the past and if the damaged area has any potential to recover after bypass surgery or angioplasty.

Health Conditions Treated

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Coronary artery bypass
  • Angiography and angioplasty
  • Heart attack
  • Cardiomyopathy


At Aster Hospitals we provide the highest quality of care and a transformative experience for all your healthcare needs. With our network of multi-speciality hospitals, specialised doctors, and world-class technology, we bring global standards of medical care to our patients.

Is nuclear cardiology safe?

Despite the term “nuclear,” this imaging type is considered very safe. The amount of radiation is so tiny that it hardly causes any damage to the heart.

 Is a nuclear stress test painful?

Nuclear stress tests are usually not painful. However, some people may experience headaches, nausea, and vomiting after the test.

 How long does the radioactive dye take to leave the body?

Although the excretion of the radioactive material depends on the scan type, the most commonly used isotopes leave the body within one day. Others might take as long as three days to leave the body.

What should one avoid after undergoing a nuclear stress test?

Although nuclear cardiology scans are not risky procedures, one should avoid close contact with children and babies for at least one or two days. Frequent handwashing is encouraged to prevent the spread of radioactive particles.

How long does a nuclear cardiology scan take?

It takes 2–4 hours to perform a nuclear cardiology scan. Some of the time is spent preparing for the test and waiting for the tracer to be taken up by the heart.

Is a nuclear cardiology scan necessary

A nuclear cardiology scan is advised for those treated for heart disease or experiencing symptoms like chest pain and breathlessness. It can provide information that may be unavailable or require an invasive and expensive procedure.

Does the nuclear stress test show blockages

Nuclear stress tests can determine the size of the chambers. It can also tell us how well the heart is pumping blood and whether the heart has any damaged muscle. These tests also give information about the arteries and whether they are blocked.

How are the results of nuclear stress tests interpreted?

The doctor usually analyzes the test results before providing a diagnosis. A normal blood flow at rest and exercise means the heart functions normally. Any abnormality in the test results usually signifies a blockage.

Advanced Technology & Facilities

Nuclear Cardiology

At Aster Hospitals, we are eager to help you restore your heart to its healthy beat. Your doctor may want you to undergo nuclear cardiology imaging to detect any issues related to the heart or to assess your heart after undergoing a procedure. You can avail the best services with a dedicated nuclear cardiology team at Aster Hospitals. Nuclear cardiology is a safe and noninvasive procedure that uses a certain amount of dye to create images of the body's internal structures and organs. Nuclear cardiology imaging tests provide the following information to the doctor:

  • Determine whether the symptoms related to the heart are due to coronary artery disease
  • Identify those who are at risk of developing heart disease and determine if angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery should be done
  • Assess patient’s condition after coronary artery bypass surgery or a cardiac catheterization procedure
  • Monitor the blood flow to the heart and detect atherosclerosis of coronary artery disease
  • Evaluate the heart's function, especially if one has had cardiomyopathy, injury to the heart, or heart disease
  • Monitor the effects of chemotherapy or medications on the heart
  • Determine the size and location of a heart attack

At Aster Hospitals, we provide the following nuclear cardiology imaging facilities:

Equilibrium radionuclide angiogram

Doctors use this test to determine how well the heart's lower chambers are functioning.

Nuclear exercise stress test

This stress test helps the doctor see if the heart is receiving enough oxygen while exercising. Images of the blood flow to the heat during rest and exercise are taken.

Pharmacological stress test

This test is very similar to the exercise stress test and is preferred by people who cannot exercise.

Positron emission tomography (PET) scan

It uses radioactive material to determine any scarring that may have occurred due to heart attacks in the past. It also helps to recognize the areas of the heart that can recover after undergoing procedures like cardiac catheterization or coronary bypass surgery.

A radioactive substance is put into the vein during a nuclear imaging test. This substance is referred to as a tracer. The tracer travels to the heart and releases gamma rays. These gamma rays are captured by the gamma cameras and are used to create pictures of the heart. The heart's electrical activity is monitored throughout the test.


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