Center for Heart & Vascular Health

Nuclear Cardiology

Nuclear medicine is a medical specialty that uses safe, painless, cost-effective techniques to document the structure and function of organs inside the body. An integral part of patient care at ChristianaCare Health System, nuclear medicine is used in the diagnosis and management of diseases.

Nuclear medicine uses a very small amount of radioactive materials-called radiopharmaceuticals-to diagnose and treat disease. Radiopharmaceuticals are substances that are attached to specific organs, bones or tissues. The radiopharmaceuticals emit gamma rays that can be detected externally by special types of cameras: gamma or PET cameras. These cameras work in conjunction with computers to form images that provide data and information about the area of the body being imaged.

Nuclear cardiology uses the tools of nuclear medicine specifically to look inside the heart. Nuclear cardiology tests include the MUGA scan and myocardial perfusion test.