OUTPATIENT LABORATORY
ULTRASOUND AND PLAIN FILMS
NUCLEAR MEDICINE
  For Patients: Frequently Asked Questions
NERVE CONDUCTION TESTING
HOLTER MONITOR TESTING
MED HEALTH SERVICES


Pricing transparency gets cloudier as health care costs soar
 

Earlier this fall, Highmark Inc. paid Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute $581 for doing a nuclear stress test for a patient. The insurer compensated UPMC Monroeville $1,540 for the same procedure — a common measure of how well the heart is working — in another patient.

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Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute
200 James Place, 1st Floor
Monroeville, PA 15146
Phone: 412-372-2035 Fax: 412-229-1432
     
 

Nuclear Medicine

All Cardiac Procedures, in the convenience of our outpatient facility.


 

Equipped with the latest cardiac nuclear SPECTpak Plus technology, Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute is changing the way our physicians do nuclear medicine. By employing the latest state-of-the-art technology, Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute is taking imaging to the patients, not making patients come to the imaging.

 

SPECTpak Plus combines a solid-state nuclear cardiology SPECT system, plus a portable gamma camera. The extremely small form-factor (8" x 8" FOV), and omission of photo-multiplier tubes (PMT’s), enables a detector that can be easily positioned to accommodate any type of portable imaging within the comfort of our own medical, outpatient office.

 

With the ability to perform instant imaging, nuclear medicine procedures can be taken to the patients and most all-planar nuclear medicine procedures can be performed bedside. Typical procedures that can be performed include renography, hepatobiliary, gastric emptying, thyroid imaging, bone scanning, brain flow, and planar cardiac imaging including gated blood pool (MUGA) and first pass quantification.

 

Traditional SPECT imaging requires a large patient bed and the patient to move into a confined claustrophobic detector gantry. SPECTpak PLUS allows patients to sit upright and frees them from the confinement of supine imaging. This new design increases patient comfort and as a result, improves image quality.



QGS - Quantitative Gated SPECT

Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute employs Quantitative Gated SPECT software to automatically calculate cardiac volumes, wall motion, wall thickening, and ventricular ejection fractions from gated cardiac perfusion images.

 

Graphic displays allow real time manipulation of cine 3-D images, providing a view of the myocardial boundaries that aid in the qualitative assessments of the cardiac wall motion. The time-tested software, measures left ventricular ejection fraction, end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes, regional myocardial wall motion and thickening, and transient ischemic dilation of the left ventricle. When in Splash mode, images are displayed side-by-side in all three projections (Short, Vertical, and Horizontal Long Axis). Surface mode allows a 3-D view of the epicardial and endocardial surfaces of the left ventricle. All of these viewpoints can be selected and displayed.
 

QPS - Quantitative Perfusion SPECT

QPS is a new functional approach to quantitative perfusion SPECT. Independent of myocardial shape, size and orientation, QPS automatically generates a 20-segment, five-point perfusion score, as well as global regional quantitative perfusion measurements. The algorithm samples the myocardium based on an ellipsoidal model. The entire count profile between the ellipsoidal and epicardial surfaces is then considered. QPS automatically generates the normal limits of the indicated patient population, but manual overrides are also available.
 

Comprehensive Reporting of Quantitative Data

 

Pittsburgh Cardiovascular Institute provides all-inclusive reports, including the following set of cardiac parameters:

  • ejection fraction volumes
  • wall motion
  • wall thickening
  • perfusion (%)

Our comprehensive displays include:

  • gated slices with contours
  • interactive 3D images
  • polar maps