When you need expert care for your heart, seconds count. When it comes to technology and providers, you want the best and brightest taking care of your ticker. We get it, and that’s one of the reasons why Meritus Hagerstown Heart is home to the only nuclear cardiac Positron Emission Tomography scanner in Washington County.
Positron Emission Tomography, or PET, is a valuable tool for cardiologists in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. These scans can provide detailed information about the structure and function of the heart, allowing cardiologists to make more accurate diagnoses and develop more effective treatment plans.
“Positron Emission Tomography has revolutionized the way we diagnose and treat heart disease. With PET, we can see the heart in unprecedented detail and develop targeted treatment plans that are tailored to each patient’s individual needs,” said Dr. Jeffrey Jones, a cardiologist at Meritus Hagerstown Heart and radiation safety officer for the Meritus Hagerstown Heart Nuclear Cardiology Lab.
One of the main uses of PET in cardiology is to assess the blood flow to the heart muscle. A tracer is injected into the patient’s bloodstream, which is then absorbed by the heart muscle. As the tracer decays, it emits positrons, which are quickly converted to high-energy photons. They are detected by the PET scanner, this allows for more accurate detection of coronary artery disease, particularly in obese patients.
The resulting images show the flow of blood through the heart and can identify areas of reduced blood flow, which may indicate a blockage in the coronary arteries. PET scans can also be used to assess the viability of heart muscle tissue.
“PET is an incredibly powerful tool for assessing blood flow to the heart muscle. By identifying areas of reduced blood flow, we can diagnose coronary artery disease and determine the best course of treatment for each patient,” Dr. Jones said.
In some cases, the heart muscle may become damaged due to a heart attack or other condition. PET scans can show whether the damaged tissue is still able to function and can help cardiologists determine the best course of treatment.
Another use of PET in cardiology is to evaluate the effectiveness of cardiac treatments. For example, PET scans can be used to assess the success of a coronary artery bypass graft, which is a surgical procedure that reroutes blood flow around a blocked artery.
“By tracking changes in blood flow and heart function over time, we can evaluate the success of interventions such as bypass surgery and medications and adjust treatment plans as needed,” Dr. Jones said.
PET imaging can also be used to assess the effectiveness of medications used to treat heart disease.
Overall, PET is a valuable tool for cardiologists in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. By providing detailed images of the heart and its blood flow, PET scans can help cardiologists develop more accurate diagnoses and more effective treatment plans, ultimately improving patient outcomes.
“Patients with heart disease deserve the best possible care, and our commitment to using advanced imaging technology like PET allows us to provide a level of precision and accuracy that is second to none. We see the heart in detail and develop individualized treatment plans that are tailored to each patient’s unique needs,” Dr. Jones said.
If you’re looking for a cardiologist who will go above and beyond to provide you with the best possible care, you’re invited to find more details at MeritusHealth.com/Heart.