Cardiac PET Produces Clearer Heart Images




Photo: Shutterstock
 

One of the most advanced diagnostic tools in the world is offered at the Allegheny Health Networks’ Cardiovascular Institute at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH).

Cardiac PET (positron emission tomography) is non-invasive imaging to evaluate coronary heart disease. The test is faster and more sensitive, which reduces the radiation exposure for the patient, about one-tenth of the dose for standard test,” said Dr. Poornima.

Indu Poornima, MD, cardiologist and Medical Director of Nuclear Cardiology at AGH, described how physicians use Cardiac PET to get a detailed and functional map of the heart.  

“We can see if there are any blockages in coronary arteries impeding blood flow to the heart muscle,” Dr. Poornima said. “Or if blood flow is slower than it should be, due to blood vessels that don’t dilate otherwise called as microvascular disease.”

After a patient has a heart attack, she said, “we can determine the degree of damage to the heart, which affects treatment decisions. Is there enough healthy heart tissue to support a coronary bypass?” Doctors can also assess sarcoidosis, an inflammation of the heart muscles.

Cardiologists start with non-invasive stress tests to assess the need for more complex procedures, like a cardiac catheterization.

It is particularly helpful for patients who are:

  • Obese, with a BMI over 40
     
  • Women with recurrent heart issues
     
  • Getting annual stress tests prior to kidney transplant
     
  • Younger than typical heart patients

AGH is the only hospital in the area that has practiced patient-centered nuclear imaging for the last five years. “With greater sensitivity, we can be quicker, decreasing cumulative lifetime radiation dosages with less stress, and lower overall cost, said Dr. Poornima.


Heart patients may ask their physicians for more information or call 412.DOCTORS (362.8677).
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Host an event in Pittsburgh’s urban sustainable homestead. Join a club for mushroom hunters. Tour a coal mine. Listen to some banjo music. We list our new favorite experiences, food, drink, personalities, stores, items and activities in the ’Burgh.
Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Fourteen years ago this month, the mighty Kinzua Viaduct met its match.
Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

The restaurant, run by Dinette’s Sonja J. Finn, boosts the dining experience at the Carnegie museums in Oakland.
Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

FASTER Pittsburghʼs Hip Hop Cardio promises to get your workout into a groove.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

With a tear in our eye, we bid the “Flower” Au Revoir.
Finally, a Faster Way From Pittsburgh to Oakland and Beyond

Finally, a Faster Way From Pittsburgh to Oakland and Beyond

A proposed route for new electric buses will connect 30,000 people throughout 24 neighborhoods.
Extras Wanted: Cate Blanchett Shooting Movie in Pittsburgh

Extras Wanted: Cate Blanchett Shooting Movie in Pittsburgh

“Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” a movie based on the best-selling comedic novel, will begin filming in the ‘Burgh next month.
What We Know about Anthony Bourdain’s Visit to Pittsburgh

What We Know about Anthony Bourdain’s Visit to Pittsburgh

While Bourdain and his crew aren’t talking, they left plenty of hints about what’s likely to be in the Pittsburgh episode of “Parts Unknown.”
Edit Module