What Is Nuclear Cardiology?

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Nuclear cardiology is a sub-specialty of general cardiology that involves the use of radioactive substances to diagnose heart disease. Discover what nuclear stress testing is with information from a cardiologist in this free video on cardiology and the heart.

Part of the Video Series: Cardiology Information
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Eric Frischhertz and I'm a cardiology in Austin, Texas with Capital Cardiovascular Specialist, and I'm here to answer the question, what is nuclear cardiology? Nuclear cardiology is a sub specialty of general cardiology which involves the use of radioactive substance to diagnose heart disease. The most common form of this is what's called nuclear stress testing, where a radioactive substance is given to a patient who then undergoes a stress test, a stress being a physiologic stress generally by exercising on a treadmill or a bike, and the radioactive substance is taken up by the cells of the heart. The cells of the heart then admit radiation which can be imaged using a special camera that shows where blood goes in the heart. So if there are blockages in the arteries we can see that blood is not getting to certain parts of the heart the way it should in a normal fashion. And this is the most common way that nuclear substances are used to diagnose heart disease.

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