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Ann Emerg Med. 1997 Aug;30(2):210-8.

Role of nuclear cardiology in the evaluation of acute coronary syndromes.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL, USA.


Over the last 20 years, nuclear cardiology has become a mainstay in the evaluation of ischemic heart disease. In the setting of acute coronary syndromes (myocardial infarction or unstable angina), myocardial perfusion imaging has emerged as an important tool in assessing the functional significance of angiographic coronary stenoses, evaluating the efficacy of therapeutic interventions, and risk-stratifying patients in the postinfarction period. Recent literature has demonstrated the diagnostic and prognostic value, as well as the cost-effectiveness, of perfusion imaging in acute chest pain syndromes and the diagnostic superiority of perfusion imaging compared with two-dimensional echocardiography. Acute perfusion imaging is now being included in the algorithm for the triage and management of acute chest pain syndromes. Emergency physicians are increasingly using nuclear cardiac imaging modalities for aid in the evaluation of patients who present with chest pain of uncertain origin.

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