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State-of-the-Heart Technology: Nuclear Heart Scan

When Flagstaff resident Kathy Sereno began having chest pains and heart palpitations, she wanted to find out immediately what was going on. Kathy’s physician referred her to the Heart & Vascular Center of Northern Arizona (HVCNA).

Little did Kathy know when she walked into HVCNA she would have access to world-class physicians as well as the most sophisticated technology available to detect heart conditions.

After meeting with Kathy, interventional cardiologist Omar Wani, M.D., suggested Kathy undergo
a nuclear heart scan to see how efficiently her heart was working. She was thrilled to learn the test did not require surgery or hospitalization and could be completed in just a couple hours at the HVCNA clinic, through the use of HVCNA’s state-of-the-art heart scan system.

Nuclear Heart Scan
A nuclear heart scan, like the one Kathy had, provides important information about the heart. A small amount of a radioactive substance called a tracer is injected into the bloodstream through an IV in the arm; the tracer travels to the heart.

A special camera, called a cardiac gamma camera, detects the tracer in the heart and uses it to create advanced images of the heart. Unlike MRI and CT scans that give structural information, nuclear heart scans provide information about the health of the heart and blood flow through
the heart.

HVCNA’s state-of-the-art DSPECT* Cardiac Gamma Camera system utilizes the latest in diagnostic
technology. The advanced system requires less radioactive tracer, yet it produces images with twice the resolution of similar cameras in less time than other systems. Additionally, the patient is able to sit in a natural, comfortable upright position during the scans.