Myocardial Perfusion SPECT

A myocardial perfusion SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) study, also called a cardiac stress-rest test, is used to evaluate the heart's blood supply. Two sets of images showing blood flow are obtained: the first following a period of rest, and the second following a period of stress, which involves exercise on a treadmill.

The technologist injects a radiotracer into a vein. A radiotracer is a compound made of a radioactive isotope and a pharmaceutical agent. In the radiotracer used for myocardial perfusion SPECT, the pharmaceutical part keeps the tracer in the blood until it is filtered out by the kidneys. The radioactive isotope releases energy, and a special camera creates an image from it.

Myocardial perfusion SPECT is used to evaluate damage that might have been caused by a myocardial infarction (heart attack) and to assess the presence and extent of myocardial ischemia (reduced blood flow due to obstruction in the vessels).

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.