Radionuclide tests

These tests are more specialized than those specialized than those mentioned so far.

They have many clinical applications. A very small and harmless quantity of radioactive substance (isotope) is injected into the blood, often while the patient is exercising on a bicycle or treadmill. Pictures by  means of a scanner can be generated either of the cavity of the heart as it empties and fills or of the blood flow to the muscular walls of the heart, depending on the isotope used. The two commonest used are technetium and thallium. The former  is used to test the size and pumping activities of the heart chambers.  Thallium is used to study the blood flow to the heart muscle and provides additional information to the exercise test.


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