HeartCare pioneers use of cardiac PET

The region's only PET scanner for cardiac perfusion studies.
The region's only PET scanner for cardiac perfusion studies.

First in Mid-South for cardiac perfusion studies

HeartCare, the new cardiac outpatient diagnostic facility at Wolf River Blvd. and Riverdale, houses a PET scanner for cardiac perfusion studies, a first for the region. In cardiology, PET provides one of the highest accuracy levels of any non-invasive procedure in diagnosing coronary artery disease.

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is a revolutionary diagnostic tool that provides information other imaging tests cannot provide. PET works by creating powerful images of the biological functions of the human body to reveal disease states. To create these images, compounds with signal-emitting tracers are injected into the patient. A scanner records the signals these tracers emit as they travel through the body and collect in the organ targeted for examination. A computer reassembles the signals into actual images, resulting in unique pictures that show biological causes of normal organ function and failure of organ systems in disease.

While anatomical imaging modalities like CT and MR focus on structural detail and changes, PET evaluates the chemical and physiological changes related to metabolism. Since functional changes occur long before the structural damage to tissues, this is a crucial advantage in early detection of disease. In some instances, early detection and treatment can have a major impact on patient outcomes.

PET replaces multiple tests and offers greater convenience for patients and physicians. The key benefits of PET are:
· Safe, non-invasive diagnostic procedure
· Detailed diagnostic information not available from other tests
· Shorter time for definitive diagnosis
· Early detection of disease with fewer invasive diagnostic procedures
· Precise staging of the disease
· Less extensive surgeries and avoidance of some surgeries
· Lower overall cost of care

Better images, shorter scan times

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) can help diagnose coronary artery disease after a small dosage of a radioactive tracer is injected into the patient. The tracer emits positrons that are detected by the PET scanner rotating around the patient. By mapping the tracers, the scan measures metabolic activity. A computer records the information and converts it into color-coded digital pictures for diagnostic purposes. HeartCare's advanced Philips Allegro PET offers higher-quality images and shorter scan times than other procedures and a less enclosed environment for patients.

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