Cardiovascular and Pulmonary
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Nuclear Cardiology is a well established technique to assess myocardial perfusion and ventricular function, and its role as a non invasive methodology for the characterization of a variety of cardiac conditions, especially coronary artery disease (CAD) has been extensively evaluated and validated in clinical practice. Nuclear cardiology uses the so-called emission tomography imaging method (single-photon emission computed tomography or SPECT, and more recently positron emission tomography or PET) which renders three-dimensional images depicting the distribution of a radioactive compound in the heart which was previously administered intravenously at rest or during a stress test. Nuclear cardiology is one of the most commonly used procedures for detecting and determining the severity of CAD. It is sensitive, accurate, and cost-effective, and gives excellent prognostic information that is not provided by other diagnostic modalities, useful for patient management based on risk-stratification.
Pulmonary scintigraphy is extensively used for the evaluation of lung perfusion and ventilation, and has a principal role in the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (PE). Despite recent advances in other imaging modalities such as CT pulmonary angiography, the radionuclide technique is considered to have superior sensitivity although with limitations in specificity, being nevertheless the method of choice for ruling out PE.