Nuclear Stress Testing
Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Treadmill Test
This test takes approximately 3 hours.
A Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Treadmill test uses a radioactive substance (not a dye) to produce pictures of the heart muscle. The radioactive substance gives off a small amount of radiation which can be seen with a special camera. The amount of radiation exposure during this test is very small and poses no health risk. The test will help your doctor determine if there are areas of your heart which do not receive enough blood supply due to coronary artery disease. Areas of your heart which may have been damaged from a previous heart attack may also be seen. Prior to the test an IV will be started. During the rest portion of the test, you will receive an injection of the radioactive substance, and pictures will be taken of your heart. For the stress portion of the test, you will walk on a treadmill or be given a medication to chemically stress the heart if you are unable to exercise. You will be continuously monitored for blood pressure, heart rate, rhythm and ECG changes. You will be given an injection of the radioactive substance during your last minute of exercise. Following the treadmill, pictures will be taken to determine blood flow to the heart muscle.
* Male patients may be required to have their chest hair shaved in order to ensure electrodes adhere to their skin during the test. (If the patient would prefer, they can shave their chest prior to arriving for the appointment)
- Do not eat or drink anything other than water for 4 hours prior to the test. (No caffeine for 18 hours prior to the test.)
- Diabetics should eat a light breakfast and take their insulin.
- Take all your regular medications, unless otherwise instructed by your physician.
- Wear two-piece clothing and comfortable shoes. No "flipflop" type shoes.
- Your physician will be notified of the results.
NextGen Patient Education Material