Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

SPECT Image of the Heart - Topic Overview

Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is a nuclear medicine imaging test. It is a type of positron emission tomography, also called a PET scan.

Doctors use SPECT to:

Recommended Related to Heart Health

Understanding Low Blood Pressure -- Symptoms

Dizziness Lightheadedness Unsteadiness Dimming or blurring of vision Weakness Fatigue Nausea Cold, clammy skin Fainting Pale skin  

Read the Understanding Low Blood Pressure -- Symptoms article > >

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 blockage is.

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.

For more information about PET scans, see Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan).

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 13, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

cholesterol lab test report
Article
Compressed heart
Article
 
heart rate graph
Article
Compressed heart
Article
 
empty football helmet
Article
red wine
Video
 
eating blueberries
Article
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Slideshow
 
Inside A Heart Attack
SLIDESHOW
Omega 3 Sources
SLIDESHOW
 
Salt Shockers
SLIDESHOW
lowering blood pressure
SLIDESHOW