Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death of both women and men in the United States.
Being able to diagnose this disease process accurately is the number one objective of heart doctors. We use various tools to be able to do this. One such tool is the use of Nuclear Medicine for diagnosis.
Baker-Gilmour is a nationally recognized “Center of Excellence” for this service. The basic concept for this form of diagnosis is a stress test that uses a medicine that uses a small, safe amount of radioactivity. The heart muscle sees this medicine as a naturally occurring compound that it normally uses. The heart muscle will extract this radioisotope from the blood flow that normally feeds it. The more blood flow the heart gets, the more radioisotope the heart muscle will extract. This allows the Nuclear Cardiologist specialist to analyze whether normal blood flow to all regions of the heart exists. The more the coronary artery is narrowed, the less blood flow (and therefore radioisotope) will be delivered to the heart muscle.
There are several different radioisotopes used for this purpose and two different kinds of cameras use for detection.
One type of camera is called a Gamma camera. It is the most widely used device for this purpose. It provides excellent test results. However, like most tests in medicine, it is not 100-percent accurate.
The second camera used is called a Pet Scan. This provides even more accurate information.
Baker-Gilmour Cardiovascular Institute is the only Jacksonville based cardiology group that provides both techniques in its office.