A heart perfusion scan is a non-invasive imaging test used to measure the amount of blood in the heart muscle. It is highly effective in diagnosing problems that cause chest pain and in checking for muscle damage after a heart attack. Although it is an outpatient procedure, the procedure can be expensive especially when performed in developed countries because it uses nuclear medicine technology.
The imaging scan, which is performed by injecting radioactive tracers into the patient’s body, is now available in many cardiovascular centres in Southeast Asia. Recognized as a medical hub all over the world, the region is home to state-of-the-art medical facilities that offer breakthrough technologies, such as radiopharmaceutical therapy. While quite costly in the United States and in European countries, a radiopharmaceutical heart perfusion scan is more affordable and thus more easily accessible in countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand.
These countries are home to world-class hospitals and cardiovascular specialist centres that are accredited by the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and the Joint Commission International (JCI). These accreditations show that the hospitals and medical centres have passed a rigorous credentialing process. These recognitions are exclusively given to facilities with highly trained and experienced specialists as well as up-to-date equipment and technologies. These therefore attest to their ability to provide the highest standard of care to all patients, both local and international.
The use of radiopharmaceuticals for cardiac imaging is highly effective in diagnosing coronary artery disease and congenital heart defects. It can also detect the exact location and the extent of damage following a heart attack. The test is performed in two parts, a resting scan and a stress scan, the latter of which is performed after the patient is given a stimulant to mimic the effects of exercise. Due to this, the test may take a couple of days, with each scan lasting about 30 to 60 minutes. This means that patients who travel to Southeast Asia for a heart perfusion scan will have time to explore their destination during their trip.