Nuclear Cardiology

Diagnostic Services Flemington, NJ

Most people haven’t heard the term “nuclear cardiology,” but they may know a friend or relative who has reaped the benefits from it. Nuclear cardiology has played a pivotal role in establishing the diagnosis of heart disease and in the assessment of disease extent and the prediction of outcomes when it comes to coronary artery disease.

We provide various nuclear cardiology assessments at Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates.

The stats

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, along with most of the developed world. Each year in the U.S., over half a million people die from coronary artery disease. But early diagnosis and treatment of heart disease have improved dramatically over the past 20 years. Nuclear cardiology has played a major role in diagnosing heart disease and predicting outcomes.

What is nuclear cardiology?

Nuclear cardiology gets its rather ominous moniker because it uses a small amount of radioactive tracer to illuminate the heart. This allows the team at Hunterdon to safely take pictures of the heart. During a nuclear cardiology test, we inject a radionuclide into a vein and it progresses through the vein up to the heart. We then use a very sensitive gamma camera to take images and videos of the heart at rest, during exercise, or under medication-induced stress.

These images and videos help us identify coronary heart disease, the severity and damage of prior heart attacks, and the risk of future heart attacks. Nuclear cardiology provides us with very precise measurements of the patient’s heart size and function, along with the amount of heart muscle that is at risk.

What do nuclear cardiology tests evaluate?

We use this testing for a variety of purposes. They allow us to evaluate:

  • The function of your heart and how well it is pumping blood
  • The flow of blood to the heart, including whether or not your arteries are blocked or narrowed
  • Whether your chest pain, fatigue, or shortness of breath is due to heart disease
  • Whether you are at higher risk due to risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, or family history
  • The effectiveness of potential treatments, such as if angioplasty or stents could be successful
  • The effectiveness of lifestyle interventions, such as medications, stents, bypass surgery, or diet and exercises changes

At Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates, nuclear cardiology testing is one of the important tools we use to keep our patients’ hearts in good shape. Whether it’s heading off a cardiac event or checking to see how our treatment measures are doing, nuclear cardiology is a great asset. Call us at (908) 788-1710 to schedule an appointment or consultation.

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At Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates (HCA) we are taking a proactive approach in safeguarding our patients to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, we urge you to call the Hunterdon Medical Center (HMC) patient hotline at 908 788-6440 or contact your primary care physician as soon as possible. In addition, we ask that, if you believe you have potentially been exposed to someone who is demonstrating symptoms, or has been diagnosed with COVID19, that you contact our office and speak with a staff member who will ask you several questions to determine whether you should be seen in our office, the emergency department or by your primary care physician.

We are scheduling patients currently utilizing the CDC, Cardiology Society and the Department of Health recommendations (sanitizing, social distancing and screening patients before they enter the practice). We are always available for your urgent questions and will continue to have a cardiologist on call 24/7.

In the coming weeks we will be offering alternative measures, such as telemedicine to continue to take care of our patients.

Again, our objective is to reduce risk in our patient population and staff members.

In the meantime, we ask that you keep yourself informed by logging on to the CDC (WEBSITE) for the latest information ensuring that you follow their recommendation in reducing the spread of coronavirus (avoiding close contact with others as much as possible).

We all must do our part to flatten the curve and stall the spread of this virus.

As information changes in our communities, the state of NJ and the CDC, we will continue to keep you informed.

Wishing all of our patients good health.