March 10, 2021

MAR 10, diagnostic imaging: ECG-gated SPECT

Authors' Note:  SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) imaging of the myocardium (heart muscle), performed at rest and with stress (exercise or drug infusion) is currently the most frequent test performed in hospitals' nuclear imaging departments.

   The 3-dimensional images, a type of computed tomography, are produced with a camera which detects the emission of the single-energy gamma rays following an injection of a radionuclide. By connecting the patient to a system for recording the ECG (electrocardiogram), the images can be "gated", i.e. divided into segments of the cardiac cycle; these show contraction of the ventricles, following each of two injections of the imaging agent. A muscle region showing identically poor blood flow (perfusion) and contractile function at rest and stress represents prior heart damage, and is unlikely to respond to therapy.

You can review all our verses on this intriguing topic by proceeding to a post on 'Edifying Nonsense' entitled 'Selected Topics in Diagnostic Imaging'. Click HERE!


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