WHAT IS IT?
A cardiac scan is one of the most commonly performed diagnostic heart test. During a nuclear stress test, a small amount of radioactive isotope is injected into a person’s bloodstream. The distribution of the radioactive isotope in the heart muscle is recorded by a camera shortly after the person exercises. The camera produces three-dimensional images of the heart that show the physician exactly where the heart muscle may not be receiving enough blood and oxygen.
I AM COMING IN FOR THIS TEST WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
This test is done in two parts. A resting scan will be done. For this scan you will receive an injection of a small amount of the radioactive isotope so that pictures of your heart can be done at normal resting phase. A stress scan will be done also. For this scan you will receive an injection of a small amount of the radioactive isotope while you are either walking on a treadmill or receiving a medication to stress your heart so that pictures can be done of your heart in the stressed phase. The two sets of pictures will be processed and read by a radiologist together to determine if you have any heart blockage.
The day of your stress test an IV will be started in your arm You will also be prepped and hooked up to electrodes so your doctor can monitor your EKG while your heart is being stressed. Exercise typically lasts from 3-12 minutes. When the maximum predicted heart rate is reached, the radioactive isotope is injected through an IV and you will need to continue exercising for about 1 minute to allow the isotope to distribute through your heart.
Abnormal stress test
Coronary Artery Disease
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR THIS TEST? (STRESS PORTION ONLY)
Nothing to eat or drink (except water) for 3 hours before stress test.
No caffeine products for 12 hours before stress test
Do not take beta-blockers the day of the test
Do not take theophylline medication 48 hours prior to test
THERE IS NO PREP FOR THE RESTING SCAN.