What To Expect During A Cardiac PET/CT Scan

Cardiac PET/CT imaging can detect disease before symptoms are present

A PET/CT scan is an imaging test that helps doctors to see if areas of your heart muscle are receiving enough blood, if tissue is injured or alive and functioning, if there is heart damage or scar tissue in the heart, diagnose heart conditions, or how well you are responding to treatment.

Cardiac PET/CT imaging provides diagnostic accuracy, excellent quality, and the ability to detect disease before symptoms are present.  This extremely effective imaging tool is used to diagnose cardiac disease with higher accuracy and lower radiation exposure than traditional stress testing.

Most cardiac PET/CT exams take less than 1 hour; however, a longer exam should not be cause for concern.

Our team will ask questions about your medical history. Please be sure to report all medications you are taking.

You will be asked to lie down on a scanning table, which will be slowly moved through the center of the PET/CT scanner.  Medication is administered through an IV line in a vein in your arm.  Small pads called electrodes are placed on your chest to monitor the electrical activity of your heart throughout the study.  A small amount of radiopharmaceutical is given through your IV line, enabling the PET/CT camera to capture images of your heart.


Small, flat, sticky patches that are placed on your chest.  The electrodes are attached to an EKG monitor that charts your heart’s electrical activity during the test.  Your blood pressure, heart rate, and electrocardiogram will be monitored before, during, and after the test.

Rubidium 82

This is the radiopharmaceutical that is used during your cardiac PET/CT scan.  The tracer is not a dye or contrast.  The short half-life of Rb-82 results in minimal radiation exposure and enables a far briefer test, reducing the scan time to only 25-35 minutes.