Cardiac nuclear stress testing is a standard noninvasive procedure for determining the diagnosis, extent and prognosis of coronary artery disease. These tests, however, are often limited by high radiation exposure and multiple artifacts. The MFA’s cardiac nuclear laboratory has the only facility in Washington, DC that uses UltraSPECT, a new technique that minimizes both of these concerns. UltraSPECT is a new analytic tool added to our nuclear scanning system that enhances image quality, allowing studies to be performed either with half the standard isotope dose or with a standard dose at half the usual scan time. After validating study quality, our lab now uses UltraSPECT in over 80% of cases.
|GW UltraSPECT rest/stress Tc-99m SPECT protocol||5 mSv|
|Standard rest/stress Tc-99m SPECT protocol||10 mSv|
|Standard rest/stress Dual Isotope (Thallium/Sestamibi) protocol||24 mSv|
|Diagnostic cardiac catheterization (average exposure)||7 mSv|
The MFA's Cardiac Nuclear Laboratory is under the supervision of Brian Choi, MD, Co- Director of Advanced Cardiac Imaging and Esma Akin, MD, Director of Nuclear Medicine. Dr. Choi is an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) who trained at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. He is board-certified in cardiovascular disease and nuclear cardiology. Dr. Akin is an Associate Professor of Radiology who is an internationally regarded clinician and researcher in nuclear cardiology imaging techniques. All MFA cardiac nuclear studies are read jointly by cardiology and nuclear radiology.Individualized Patient Testing: Our staff reviews each patient to determine the best and safest nuclear test approach. Factors considered include patient age, gender, body habitus, history of radiation exposure and radiation risks, comfort with imaging under the camera, ability to exercise, and other potential scan artifacts. Particular advantages of UltraSPECT imaging include:
In addition to treadmill and pharmacologic nuclear stress testing, the GW MFA Nuclear Laboratory also provides nuclear ventricular function testing (MUGA) and myocardial viability assessment. Our physicians are always available for test review or consultation at 202-741-2323.
The GW Medical Faculty Associates offers a full range of non-invasive tests for diagnosis of cardiac diseases including echocardiography, stress testing, vascular ultrasound, ambulatory electrocardiography, and nuclear cardiac testing. The MFA noninvasive cardiac imaging specialists work in integrated teams with cardiologists, nuclear radiologists, vascular surgeons, certified technologists and technicians to provide patients in-depth, high-quality diagnostic evaluations for heart and vascular problems.