Nuclear Imaging Stress Test (Myocardial Perfusion)
WHAT IS IT?
A nuclear stress test is a very sensitive and accurate noninvasive test
used to determine blood flow and blockage of arteries supplying the heart
muscle. It is done by injecting medically safe levels of a tracer substance
that is evaluated by pictures of the heart taken before and after stress testing.
WHY YOU WOULD NEED A NUCLEAR STRESS TEST.
A nuclear scan is done to accurately determine blood flow and heart
muscle function in a person suspected of coronary artery blockage. In addition, nuclear stress testing is more accurate than echo stress
tests, which rely on ultrasound waves, in certain patients with thicker
chest walls or for whom imaging is difficult. The nuclear stress test
can answer the question of blockage in these more challenging patients.
Under certain circumstances, a regular stress test may yield
indeterminate results. In those cases, your doctor may request a
nuclear imaging stress test, which is also called a myocardial perfusion stress test.
HOW THE NUCLEAR STRESS TEST IS CONDUCTED.
EKG pads or electrodes are placed on your chest wall to see the
heart rhythm, and an IV will be placed in your arm only during the
test. You will have pictures taken under the nuclear camera for about
10 minutes both before and after exercise. There is a waiting period
of 60 to 90 minutes between the two parts of the test, during which
time you may eat. Your test will be read within 24 hours and a report
sent to your doctor.
Typically, you will not eat or drink several hours prior to the test. Also,
no caffeine is allowed prior to testing. Wear comfortable clothes to
walk on the treadmill. For patients with medical conditions that do not
allow treadmill exercise, chemical stress testing can be done without
exercise. These tests, called adenosine or Dobutamine stress nuclear
testing, are safe and accurate ways of evaluating the blood flow to
the heart and are often used in patients awaiting surgery (like knee or
back surgery) who are unable to walk.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR OUR DIABETIC PATIENTS.
We prefer that you refrain from taking your insulin if possible. If that's
not possible, a minimum of 3 hours prior to test time you may have
your insulin with a slice of toast or egg, and a glass of juice (no caffeine,
however). If you take a pill such as glucophage to control your
diabetes, take it as usual, and observe the fasting guidelines above.
TEST INTERPRETATION AND RESULTS.
Dr. Tony Das and Dr. Tulika Jain, our board-certified nuclear cardiologists
will interpret the results from your nuclear stress testing. Your
CIVA doctor or other referring physician will have the results available
to them within 24 hours.
Make an Appointment
Why Choose CIVA?
Myocardial Perfusion Imaging - This test shows areas of normal and reduced blood flow.
- No food or drink (except water) after midnight the evening before your test. If diabetic, please see the note below.
- No caffeine or nicotine 24 hours prior to your test.
- Please do not take your Beta Blocker medication (Atenolol, Tenormin, Zebeta, Coreg, Lopressor, Metoprolol, Toprol, Corgard, Inderal, or Propanolol) 24 hours prior to the test unless instructed differently by your doctor.
- Please do not use lotion or powder on your chest the day of the test.
- Wear two-piece, comfortable clothing, preferably with tennis shoes.
- The test takes approximately 4 hours including wait time between tests. Feel free to bring some form of entertainment, such as a book or crossword, and a snack for your designated snack time.