Published on June 07, 2019

North Mississippi Medical Center-Iuka Offers New Heart Testing

heartIUKA, Miss.—North Mississippi Medical Center-Iuka recently expanded its nuclear medicine services to include studies of the heart.

Nuclear medicine is a sub-department of Radiology. The procedures demonstrate anatomy and/or function of body organs – in particular, the heart. The images are developed based on the detection of energy emitted from a radioactive substance given to the patient. Radiation to the patient is generally similar to that resulting from a standard X-ray.

This new service, under the leadership of Tiffany Elrod, was recently accredited by the American College of Radiology in Planar and Heart Imaging.

“This advance in technology signifies the professionalism and quality offered in this area,” said Karen Barnes, Radiology director. “We are one of the few facilities in this region who are ACR accredited in Heart Imaging.”

ACR accreditation means that:

  • A facility has voluntarily gone through a review to ensure that it meets nationally-accepted standards of care.
  • The personnel are well-qualified, through education and certification.
  • The equipment is appropriate and the facility meets or exceeds quality and safety guidelines.

The information provided by nuclear medicine examinations is unique and is not available by using other imaging methods. For many heart diseases nuclear medicine studies offers the most useful information needed to make a diagnosis, and may even eliminate the need for exploratory surgery in some cases.

The trained staff at NMMC-Iuka includes a certified nuclear medicine technologist, a registered respiratory therapist and a physician.

Physicians use cardiac nuclear medicine studies to help diagnose cardiac disease. The symptoms include unexplained chest pain or chest pain brought on by exercise (angina).

Cardiac nuclear medicine imaging is also performed:

  • to visualize blood flow patterns to the heart walls, called a myocardial perfusion scan
  • to evaluate the presence and extent of suspected or known coronary artery disease
  • to determine the extent of injury to the heart following a heart attack, or myocardial infarction
  • to evaluate the results of bypass surgery or other revascularization procedures designed to restore blood supply to the heart
  • in conjunction with an electrocardiogram (ECG), to evaluate heart-wall movement and overall heart function with a technique called cardiac gating.

A cardiologist reads all studies and sends results to the referring provider, who will inform the patient of the findings.

“We want to be our community’s choice for imaging services,” Barnes said. “We offer this and other advanced scans so you and your family can have the tests you need without having to travel far from home.”

For more information on this or other services at North Mississippi Medical Center-Iuka, call (662) 423-6051.

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