Medical Terminology

single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)

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Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) is similar to positron emission tomography (PET) in that it uses a radioactive substance (tracer) and a special camera to create 3-D pictures of an internal organ of the body. Like PET, SPECT is particularly useful for looking at blood flow to an organ, such as the heart or brain. The primary difference between the two tests is that the tracers used in SPECT last longer than those used in PET, allowing for a longer time to view the organ at work.