What Are Radiotracers and How Do They Work in Oakbrook Terrace, IL

by | Dec 23, 2022 | Medical Center

PET Scan Cardiology

PET scan cardiology uses radiotracers to examine the inner working of someone’s heart. Cardiac positron emission tomography scans images of the heart muscle, efficiently detecting disease. From the practitioner’s perspective, the technology is helpful in enhancing diagnostic accuracy. Furthermore, it reduces the patient’s total radiation exposure, limiting side effects.

What Are Radiotracers and How Do They Work

During a PET scan, a radiotracer is used to detect tumors and inflammation regions. These molecules bond to radioactive material that PET scanners can detect. PET radiotracers are required to have high specificity for their molecular target. Further, they must possess low non-specific uptake in extraneous tissues.

This facility uses Rubidium-82 or Rb-82 as its tracer of choice. Rb-82 produces higher diagnostic accuracy and lower radiation exposure, shortening exam times. SPECT imaging has lower-quality images and takes longer because it uses Tc-99m.

How Does It Work?

Radiotracers are injected, swallowed, or inhaled, accumulating in the target area. Then, a patient goes into the machine, and a camera detects radioactive emissions. Since abnormal cells uptake glucose faster than healthy ones, they appear on the scan. Thus, your doctor can identify diseases more quickly than using other methods.

Nuclear Medicine Benefits

Radiotracers have been used in nuclear medicine for decades now. Here are a few of the benefits patients can expect:

  • Evaluate Treatment Options
  • Assess Damage After Cardiac Arrest
  • Visualize Heart Blood Flow and Function

Contact Cardiac Imaging, Inc. today to learn more.

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