When used to detect whether a heart attack is occurring or may occur,
SPECT locates areas of the heart muscle that have inadequate blood flow
compared with areas that have normal flow. Inadequate blood flow means that
coronary arteries are blocked and a heart attack is
occurring. SPECT can also assess how bad the blood flow
It is a noninvasive imaging scan that exposes you to radiation. For this test, your doctor injects a tiny amount of radioactive
tracers through a vein in your arm. After the radioactive tracer is injected, a
camera that can detect the radiation emitted by these tracers rotates around
you. This creates images of your heart from different angles. Then, computer
graphics are used to create three-dimensional images of your heart.
If your SPECT
test is abnormal, you are considered at high risk of a heart attack.
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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