Scintiangiographic and Probe Systems in the Detection of Cardiac Shunts
Radionuclide angiography has been used in the evaluation of pediatric patients with suspected congenital heart disorders for almost seven years. 1–4 The procedure derives its popularity by virtue of requiring nothing more arduous than an intravenous injection of a bolus of99mTc pertechnetate (a physiologically inactive agent), followed by imaging with a scintillation camera. This extremely safe and relatively simple technique, which is associated with a comparatively low radiation-absorbed dose, shows promise in screening children with heart murmurs of undetermined etiology or patients with suspicious chest radiographs prior to deciding on the necessity of cardiac catheterization. This essentially noninvasive test can be of particular value in differentiating between hemodynamically insignificant murmurs and murmurs resulting from left-to-right shunts that may necessitate catheterization, a procedure that, in addition to being associated with a certain risk, is considerably more expensive. Radionuclide angiography can be useful on occasion in evaluating neonates in whom it may be difficult to differentiate between primary pulmonary disorders and congenital heart defects. Furthermore, because of the simplicity of the technique, children can be followed after various surgical corrective procedures without requiring frequent repeat catheterizations to evaluate their postoperative status.
KeywordsCongenital Heart Disease Dilution Curve Radionuclide Angiography Heart Chamber Bolus Transit
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