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TOP 3 Reasons to Have a Cardiac PET
Our physicians have been performing Cardiac PET stress tests since May 2010, the best and most cost-effective way to look at your heart without an angiogram (heart catheterization/heart cath).
Cardiac PET stress testing is a technology that has existed for a number of years, but it has become more available recently as the cost of the camera has decreased. This has provided an excellent opportunity for more patients to benefit from a more accurate study, less radiation exposure, and fewer hours spent in the office.
Cardiac PET provides more accurate images of your heart, even with obesity, because the energy in the medication used for imaging is higher. As a result, it is more clearly seen on the camera than some other imaging options. This helps the doctor to determine with greater accuracy if your heart is functioning well or not.
The radiation exposure with Cardiac PET is also less than other options available because the half-life of the medication used is much less. This means that the radioactivity does not last as long, and the overall radiation exposure is much less, even though the energy is higher. By comparison with the more common nuclear stress test called a SPECT, the PET radiation exposure is approximately 800 mrem vs 1800 mrem with SPECT. There is little data available that clearly illustrates what a person's lifetime limit of radiation should be, however it is clear that radiation exposure should be limited as much as possible. For comparison, the average radiation exposure for a person living in the United States is 363 mrem per year, from natural and man-made sources.
Lastly, the shorter overall time spent in the office by patients having a PET study is incredibly popular! Few patients want to spend 3 or 4 hours in our office for any reason, so providing them the ability to get this study done faster is a great perk.
Many of our patients come a long distance to our office to have this specific test performed, because so few cameras like this exist in the country. It is perfectly acceptable to come by our office just to have this test done before having a heart cath. If you are interested in this, just be sure to specify the reason for your visit. One of our doctors will have to see you first, unless you have very detailed medical records from your other physicians that justify having this test performed.
If you would like our physicians to determine your eligibility for a PET study, make an appointment with one of our doctors by clicking the "Make an Appointment" button on this page.
We are looking forward to taking care of your heart!