Cardiac examination (myocardial scintigraphy)
There are certain things that we all like to know early enough. For example, if we are at risk of a heart attack. There are many precursors: a feeling of tightness, sharp pain behind the sternum or shortness of breath. Myocardial perfusion scintigraphy is an established diagnostic method that has been developed over many decades, and provides information on the circulation and functioning of the heart – at rest and under stress.
An unobtrusive myocardial scintigram also almost completely rules out the threat of a heart attack or cardiac death in the case of a known cardiac circulatory disorder for the next one to two years! Through this examination, it is therefore also possible to state whether a cardiac catheter examination (coronary angiography) is necessary.
Frequently asked question
How is myocardial scintigraphy carried out?
You must have an empty stomach for the examination. A case history is then carried out and current medication is evaluated. According to your condition, either bicycle ergometry or pharmacological stress will then be used. After a small quantity of a radioactive substance has been injected via an intravenous line, imaging of the heart is carried out in a supine position for about 20 minutes. After one to two hours, imaging of the heart is carried out again at rest. By comparing the two images, an evaluation is made as to whether a relevant coronary heart disease (CHD) can be ruled out or e.g. whether there is scarring from a previous heart attack.
How long does a myocardial scintigraphy examination take?
The entire examination, which consists of one image under stress and one at rest, takes a total of three to four hours.
How high is the level of radiation exposure in myocardial scintigraphy?
The exposure to radiation is 12 mSv and is comparable to the invasive cardiac catheter examination.
How well will I tolerate the examination?
Allergic reactions or other side effects are very rare, since only minimal quantities of substances are administered. During pharmacological stress, you may experience short-term nausea or slight dizziness at most.