What Is The Purpose Of A PET Scan?

The acronym “PET” is short for Positron Emission Tomography and this scan refers to the specialized technology that allows your doctor to determine how well your organs, specifically your heart, are functioning. A PET scan uses radioactive tracers to record information on the chemical activity within your body. Doctors use PET scans in cardiology to diagnose certain heart diseases. Read on to see more helpful information about PET scans and heart disease.


How Do PET Scans Work?

PET scans use radioactive tracers to monitor blood flow, oxygen use, sugar use and more. The tracers can be consumed in one of three ways: injected into the skin, swallowed in a drink or inhaled as a gas. Tracers take over an hour to absorb in the body and collect in the areas of more chemical activity. The scan takes roughly 30 to 40 minutes and the scanned picture will ultimately show bright areas where the tracers are collected.


Scanning for Heart Disease

Doctors can use PET scans to diagnose heart disease, as the tracers will collect more in healthy heart tissue and less in unhealthy areas. The varying degrees of colors and brightness indicate how your heart tissue is functioning. The PET scan for cardiology allows the doctor to see decreased areas of blood flow, usually indicating a heart disease red flag. Doctors use this scan to determine which steps or surgeries need to be done to repair clogged arteries. Additionally, a PET scan is used to assess the organs after a heart attack.


Thanks to PET scans, your doctor will be able to reveal which organs are not functioning how they should be and is used to diagnose serious heart diseases. If you’re interested in learning more about the uses of a PET scan in cardiology, contact Cardiac Imaging, Inc. today.