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Nuclear Cardiology

The nuclear cardiology laboratory performs a variety of non-invasive  cardiovascular imaging studies:  myocardial perfusion imaging (nuclear stress tests) for the detection and management of coronary artery disease, viability studies to assess for the extent of myocardial infarction and radionuclide cineangiograms (RNCA/MUGA studies) to evaluate heart function. Stress modalities routinely performed include: exercise treadmill testing, vasodilator pharmacologic stress and dobutamine stress testing. Our gamma cameras can acquire a complete study in half the time compared to conventional imaging protocols and we can utilize a reduced amount of tracer. Our state-of-the-art facility is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC/Nuclear). Our laboratory provides the highest diagnostic accuracy, while optimizing patient satisfaction, comfort and care.

At our state-of-the-art facilities, we perform approximately 3,000 nuclear cardiac imaging studies annually. We also teach a structured curriculum for our cardiology fellows, including a series of didactic lectures and intensive "hands-on" training in the performance and interpretation of nuclear cardiology studies.

What is this for?

Nuclear imaging evaluates how organs function, unlike other imaging methods that assess how organs appear. Small amounts of a radioactive solution(s) are introduced into the body. A special camera detects the solution in different parts of the body and a computer generates a series of images of the areas of interest.

Nuclear cardiac imaging can help determine if there is adequate blood flow to the heart muscle during stress versus rest. It can also evaluate heart function and the presence of prior heart attacks.

These cardiac images help to identify coronary heart disease, the severity of prior heart attacks, and the risk of future heart attacks. These highly accurate evaluations of cardiac function and amount of heart muscle at risk enable cardiologists to better prescribe medications and select further testing like a coronary angiogram, the need for angioplasty and bypass surgery, or devices to optimize treatment outcomes.

Types of nuclear cardiology imaging:

Cardiac SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) scans — also called myocardial perfusion imaging — are non-invasive tests that are used to assess the heart’s structure and function.  

SPECT scans use small amounts of radioactive substances that are injected into a vein and special cameras to produce images of the heart. These images allow cardiologists to assess blood flow inside the heart and detect areas of abnormal heart muscle. Information obtained from SPECT scans can be used to:

  • identify blockages in the coronary arteries
  • determine whether someone has had a heart attack
  • try to predict those at high risk for a heart attack
  • assess a patient’s condition after bypass surgery or angioplasty

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is a type of nuclear imaging that can evaluate heart function. Performed in New York-Presbyterian's Division of Nuclear Medicine, PET scans can be used to look for coronary artery disease by examining how blood flows through the heart; it can evaluate damage to heart tissue after a heart attack. Your physician can use this information to determine the best course of treatment for you.

MUGA (Multiple Gated Acquisition) Scan — also called radionuclide angiography (RNA) — is a test that is used to evaluate heart function by measuring how much blood is pumped out of the ventricles of the heart with each heartbeat (ejection fraction). A small amount of a safe radioactive tracer solution is introduced into a vein. This substance attaches to red blood cells, which are visualized by a special camera and computer as they travel through the heart, and the ejection fraction is calculated based on the computer-generated images.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment please call : 646-962-3139

Please have your referring physician complete the  Nuclear Cardiology Lab Order Form.pdf

Our Physicians

Faculty Title Phone
Headshot of Jonathan Weinsaft
Jonathan W. Weinsaft, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine, Director Cardiac MRI, Director Nuclear Cardiology 646-962-3844
Jennifer Chen, M.D.
Jennifer Chen, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine 646-962-4733
Joseph Krepp, M.D.
Joseph Krepp, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine 646-962-5558
Ines Sherifi, M.D.
Ines Sherifi, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine 646-962-4733
Headshot of Parmanand Singh
Parmanand Singh, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine 646-962-4733

Make an Appointment

(646) 962-3139

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Weill Cornell Medical College
Division of Cardiology
1305 York Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10021