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What is a Nuclear Heart Scan?

A Nuclear heart scan is a test that allows your doctor to get important information about the health of your heart.

During the nuclear heart scan, a safe, radioactive substance called a tracer is injected into your bloodstream through a vein. The tracer travels to your heart and releases energy. Special cameras outside of your body detect the energy and use it to create pictures of your heart.

Nuclear Heart scans are used for three main purposes.
  • To check how blood is flowing to the heart muscle. If part of the heart muscle isn't getting blood, it may be a sign of coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD can lead to angina, heart attack, and other problems. 
  • To look for damaged heart muscle. Damage may be the result of a previous heart attack, injury, infection, or medicine.
  • To see how well your heart pumps blood to your body.

Two sets of pictures are taken during a nuclear heart scan. 

  • The first set is taken right after a stress test, while your heart is beating fast. 
  • The second set of pictures is taken later, while your heart is at rest and beating at a normal rate. 

**All information taken from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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Hemet Heart Medical Center
1275 E. Latham Ave.
Hemet, CA 92543