Clinic Gets New PET Scan Machine; Helps Pinpoint Heart Problems - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Clinic Gets New PET Scan Machine; Helps Pinpoint Heart Problems

Dr. Lane Cox, Amarillo Cardiology Center Dr. Lane Cox, Amarillo Cardiology Center

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TEXAS - PET scan technology is changing the way people with heart problems are being treated.

The machine, which is brand new to a local clinic, takes pictures of a patient's heart.

What is different about this scan is the pictures are more clear, allowing doctors to get a better idea of treatment.

Many heart patients must go through the cath lab, which involves a lot of radioactivity, to let doctors look at their hearts.

This week, there is a new machine in town: the PET scan.

Dr. Lane Cox, a cardiologist at Amarillo Cardiology Center, says "it helps us look at the function of the heart, how blockages and where they are, if there are scars and the viability associated with it."

It does that by taking pictures.

Through an IV, patients are given a radioactive chemical agent which highlights blockage in the heart.

Unlike the alternative, the radioactivity lasts only minutes.

But this scan is reserved for a certain type of patient Dr. Cox describes as "the middle of the road patients. The ones that have risk factors for cardiovasculay disease and have very mild and non specific symptoms who undergo these studies."

These studies help doctors figure out the proper treatment.

Dr. Cox says, "this gives us a new modality and helps us be more specific with treatments and avoiding the cath lab."

And hopefully avoid more heart problems.

Dr. Cox estimates about 30 patients will undergo a pet scan every week.

But that number could increase, as the clinic is averaging about 5,000 new patients every year.

Powered by Frankly