PET CT scan is a non-invasive nuclear imaging tool, which is used to assess blood flow to the organs and their function. As with many other nuclear imaging studies, a minute amount of radioactive tracer (Rubidium or 18F-FDG, depending upon the scan) is injected into the blood to assist a Gamma camera and computer with capturing images of the organ. At Owensboro Medical Practice, we offer both Cardiac PET and Oncology PET scans.
A MUGA may be used to detect or monitor Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). Oncologists may use this test to look for pre-existing heart conditions or to estimate the effects of chemotherapy on the heart.
This procedure uses a radioactive tracer (Technetium) which is injected in vein. The tracer is then taken up by bile producing cells of liver from the blood stream and is excreted with bile into the gall bladder via bile duct and eventually into small intestine.HIDA scan is used to track the flow of bile from liver to gall bladder to small intestine and can help detect gall bladder inflammation (Cholecystitis), bile duct obstruction and congenital problems with bile duct. It can also help assess the progress after liver transplant.
CT scan may be done with and without contrast. Contrast is a substance or medicine that helps to capture clearer image. Before the scan, the patient may be given contrast either through a vein or by drinking it. This is so that desired body parts will be enhanced in the cross-sectional image. If you have allergic reaction to contrast agent, you may be given medication to reduce the allergic reaction.
Because a CT scan is non-invasive, it is a quick and painless procedure. The doctor might ask for a CT scan if they suspect a problem that cannot be detected through a normal physical examination. As CT scans provide detailed images of all types of tissue (especially hard tissue), doctors might use it to diagnose heart disease, cancer, internal damage (due to trauma), and musculoskeletal disorders. Its versatility and convenience makes CT imaging a reliable diagnostic tool.
An echocardiogram is a test where ultrasonic (high frequency) sound waves are used to create moving images of the heart. The ultrasonic sound waves are produced by a transducer. They will travel to the heart and 'echo' back, which are then converted to moving images by a computer. With invention and addition of color Doppler technology to the echocardiogram, speed and direction of blood flow can be measured. By assigning different colors to direction of flow, abnormal blood flow patterns can be assessed.
A transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) is the most commonly used echocardiogram, and involves placing an ultrasound transducer on the chest to produce images.
A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is another type of echocardiogram which is described separately.
At times, Saline Bubble Study may be ordered to detect intra-cardiac shunt like PFO (Patent Foramen Ovale), ASD (Atrial Septal Defect) or VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect). During the echocardiogram, a vigorously shaken sterile saline solution is injected in a vein and the patient is asked to perform a valsalve maneuver). Normally the bubbles would enter heart through right atrium and then right ventricle. But with intracardiac shunt defect, the bubbles would travel from right atrium to left atrium and be seen coming out of left ventricle.
A full echocardiogram gives detailed information on measurements of valves and all 4 heart chambers. At times, only ejection fraction (EF) information is needed for CHF (Chronic Heart Failure) patients and patients going through cardiotoxic chemotherapy. That’s when a Limited Echocardiogram may be performed.
A stress echocardiogram also known as ‘Stress echo’ is a simple, painless, non-invasive test used to determine how well your heart and blood vessels are functioning.
Patients with coronary artery disease may not show symptoms at rest. When applied the stress of exercise, the heart pumps more blood. The arteries that are open will dilate to allow more blood but the arteries with blockage will have less blood flow. This difference in the amount of blood flow will produce symptoms like chest pain and discomfort.
The stress echo can either be ‘Exercise stress echo’ or ‘Dobutamine stress echo’.
During exercise stress echo, the patient will be asked to exercise on a treadmill or a stationary bike. The patient will be asked to stop the exercise when the target heart rate for the age is reached or when the patient develops some symptoms that the provider may think are too risky to continue the test. An echocardiogram is done before the exercise (at rest) and later after exercise.
In case of patients who are not able to exercise due to various physical limitations, the stress may be induces by a medication like Dobutamine and the test is then known as 'Dobutamine stress echo'.Dobutamine is adrenaline like substance which when injected mimics exercise and makes the heart beat faster. An echo cardiogram is done before and after the dobutamine injection.
Stress Echo is used to determine:
A vascular ultrasound is a noninvasive ultrasound, also known as a duplex that is used to examine the circulation in the blood vessels. A vascular ultrasound can be used to evaluate arteries and veins in nearly any part of the body, including blood vessels in the neck, abdomen, arms and legs. Some examples of vascular ultrasounds are ankle brachial indexes (ABI), radial brachial indexes (RBI), venous and carotid.
With invention and addition of color doppler technology to the ultrasound, speed and direction of blood flow can be measured. By assigning different colors to direction of flow, abnormal blood flow patterns can be assessed.
Hence vascular ultrasound can be used to assess vascular occlusion (blockage), narrowing of blood vessels (stenosis), bulging of arteries (aneurysms) and DVT.
Arterial and venous duplex exam is a very simple, non-invasive and painless test; it incorporates Doppler ultrasound along with traditional ultrasound.
Traditional ultrasound uses sound waves to take images of arteries and veins which will show stenosis (narrowing) and occlusion (blockage) of the arteries and veins. Whereas Doppler ultrasound uses the sound waves to detect the flow of blood in arteries and veins. Being a combination of both the traditional and Doppler ultrasound, duplex exam shows the location, the type and the severity of the vascular disease. Some of the commonly used duplex ultrasounds are carotid duplex, renal duplex, and mesenteric duplex along with other vascular ones.Arterial and venous duplex ultrasound can help diagnose Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), Aortic Aneurysm and other vascular disorders. Sometimes it is also used for venous mapping for cardiac bypass surgery.
Peripheral artery disease or P.A.D. develops when your arteries become clogged with plaque or fatty deposits that limit blood flow to your legs. 1 in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 had P.A.D., a condition that raises the risk for heart attack and stroke.
P.A.D. does not always present with symptoms. So it is very important to get screened. At Owensboro Heart and Vascular, we offer 3 simple, no- invasive tests for vascular screening-
Carotid Artery Ultrasound, ABI- Ankle Brachial Index and Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound.
Carotid Artery Ultrasound
Providing assessment for stroke risk, Carotid Artery Ultrasound visualizes the presence of plaque and assesses if the plaque affects blood flow to the brain.
ABI-Ankle Brachial Index
ABI screening evaluates for adequate circulation through the arteries in your legs. It is determined by a ratio between the systolic pressure in your arms and the systolic pressure in your legs.
Abdominal Aortic Ultrasound
Abdominal aortic ultrasound measures the diameter of your abdominal aorta in 2 dimensions. An aneurysm is indicated if focal dilatation is present measuring greater than 3 centimeters.
PAD does not always present with symptoms. So it is very important to get screened. Get your screening for early detection and prevention.