Nuclear cardiac imaging uses special radionuclide dyes, or tracers, to check blood supply to the heart muscle and heart function. During the test, a small amount of dye is injected into the patient's vein. A camera "picks up" the dye, looking for areas of the heart that are not receiving enough blood.

The University of Chicago Medicine was instrumental in developing the field of clinical nuclear medicine. Today, our physicians use the tests to identify patients at high risk for coronary artery disease and to diagnose heart damage related to a heart attack or other heart illnesses. The test also can detect areas of inflammation in the heart.

The two types of nuclear cardiac imaging tests we offer are positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).