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Cardiac Infarct Study -

"Hot Spot Scan"

Cardiac Infarct Study -

Myocardial Infarct Avid Study


  • You have been referred for a Cardiac Infarct Study or "Hot Spot Study" in which imaging is done of your heart.

  • A Cardiac Infarct Study can show if you have had a cardiac infarct (heart attack) within the last 7-days.

  • Ideally, a Cardiac Infarct Study should be done 3 - 4 days after you have had a cardiac infarct (or assumed cardiac infarct).

  • If imaging is done outside the 2 -7 day window after your cardiac event, then the sensitivity of the test does diminish.

  • Indications for this test are:

    • to aid in the diagnosis of (or confirm and locate) acute Myocardial Infarct (MI) when ECG and enzyme testing do not provide a diagnosis.

    • to aid in the diagnosis of perioperative MI.

    • differentiate between a new and old infarction.

    • evaluate possible reinfarction or extension of the infarct.

    • obtain baseline information about infarction before cardiac surgery.

  • Factors that can effect the test are:

    • inability to remain still during the procedure because of age, significant pain, or mental status.

    • having had other nuclear scans done within the previous 24 to 48 hr.

    • conditions such as chest wall trauma, cardiac trauma, or recent cardioversion procedures.

    • Myocarditis, Pericarditis, Left ventricular aneurysm, Metastasis, Valvular and coronary artery calcifications, Cardiac neoplasms, Aneurysms.

  • The test involves a small injection of  “tracer” (like having a blood test).

  • The tracer we use is called 99mTc-PYP (99m-Pyrophosphate). There are rarely any side effects with this injection.

  • Once you have had your injection, you are free to leave the department and return in 3 hours for your imaging.

  • Images are done of your chest using a Gamma Camera (1). This takes 15-20 minutes and is painless.

  • We then image your chest in 3D. This is called SPECT/CT (2) imaging and again is painless.

  • With SPECT/CT imaging, the same Gamma Camera simply rotates around your body, taking images all the time. This takes 15 minutes.

  • On your return to our department, allow for 45 minutes for imaging.

  • You receive a slight radiation dose by having a Cardiac Infarct Study with SPECT/CT ~ up to 2.7 times your yearly background radiation (3).


Patient Preparation:

  • If you are pregnant, trying to fall pregnant or breast feeding, you must inform our staff.

  • If you have had prior imaging e.g. PET, Nuclear Scan, CT, MRI, X-Ray, Ultrasound, etc... please bring these with you.

  • Please also bring your referral and any blood results that you may have had done.

  • There is no preparation for a Cardiac Infarct Study i.e. eat and drink as normal.

  • If you are on any medications, please take these as normal.

  • Wear comfortable clothing and minimise the amount of metal jewellery you have on (all metal objects will need to be removed prior to imaging).

  • Important Note: You cannot have this test if you have had a PET or Nuclear Scan within 24 hours prior to this test. If you have had Iodine-131 therapy, allow 4-weeks before having this test. Please ring to discuss booking options.​


Breast-Feeding Mothers: Once you have been given the tracer, you need to stop breast-feeding for two feeds. During this time, you need to express and discard your breast milk. You will need to bottle-feed your child during this period.


(1) A Gamma Camera is a device that detects gamma-rays (gamma-rays are very similar to x-rays) and does not emit any radiation.

(2) SPECT/CT imaging (Single Photon Emission Computer Tomography / Computer Tomography). CT does emit radiation

(3) We all receive a yearly background radiation dose ~ 2.4mSv. Cardiac Infarct Study with SPECT/CT ~ 6.6mSv = 2.7 times yearly background dose.

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