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Nuclear Cardiology Stress Test (Myocardial Perfusion Imaging)


Nuclear Cardiology is used to diagnose coronary artery disease so that we can provide treatment, help you maintain your heart health and prevent your condition from getting worse.  It looks at the flow of blood to your heart muscle and shows if your heart is damaged.

Myocardial Perfusion Imaging

Myocardial Perfusion Imaging is a form of Nuclear Cardiology.  During the test, a tiny amount of radioactive material is inserted into a vein.  Once the radioactive material is in your blood it can be detected by a gamma camera, enabling us to take the picture.

The purpose of this test is to:

  • To determine the extent and severity of coronary artery disease.


How to Prepare for Your Test

  • Have a light breakfast the morning of your test.
  • Do not consume anything with caffeine in it (such coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks) for 24 hours prior to the test.
  • Bring a list of all current medications, and comfortable clothes and shoes.

What to Expect During the Test

  • You will be asked to sign a consent form prior to starting the test.
  • You will be given an intravenous injection of a very small amount of a radioactive material such as Thallium, Cardiolite or Myoview. These are completely safe.
  • Pictures will be taken of the heart immediately following the exercise as well as a few hours later.
  • If you are not able to exercise, a drug called Persantine will be used to open up your veins and arteries allowing the doctor to examine the flow of blood to your heart as if you were exercising.
  • The test takes 4 to 5 hours to complete.