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Nuclear Imaging Stress Test

The nuclear imaging stress test checks blood flow through the muscle of the heart before and after exercise. The image is taken by a nuclear scanning camera and transmitted to a computer monitor for viewing. Images are taken during rest and then after exercising on a treadmill for comparison. This test can determine whether there is a blockage in the coronary artery.

 

Getting Ready

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 4 hours before the test
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing. Women should wear a bra for comfort. No sports bras
  • Bring eyeglasses if needed to fill out forms
  • Bring a list of your medications with you
  • Take your regular dose of medicine on the day of the test with a small amount of water
  • If you are on a beta blocker for blood pressure control, check with your primary care physician about  stopping this medication prior to stress testing

**Diabetic Instructions: (or as your provider has instructed you if different)

Regular, Novalog, Humalog or Apidra Insulin-DO NOT TAKE

Oral diabetes medications-DO NOT TAKE

Lantus, Levemir or NPH insulin-if you normally take:

PM dose of Lantus, Levemir or NPH insulin, administer ¾ of your usual dose the evening before the procedure.

AM dose of Lantus, Levemir or NPH insulin, administer ¾ your usual dose the morning of the procedure

          

What to Expect

Once you have arrived, an IV (intravenous) is put into your arm/hand. You will be given a hospital gown and asked to undress from the waist up.  You will be given an injection of a nuclear imaging material through the IV. This causes no affect or sensations.   This only takes a few minutes. 

Next you are encouraged to eat. After an hour of waiting, you are brought to the nuclear medicine section of the radiology department where a scan of the heart is taken (this takes approximately 20 minutes).    

After your resting imaging has been obtained, you will be brought into the stress area.  An area of your chest will be cleaned with a prepping agent and alcohol.  If necessary, your chest will be shaved.  EKG pads with gel are placed on your chest. Technicians will take a series of EKGs and resting blood pressures.  Once this is done you will start walking on the treadmill.  At first, the treadmill moves very slowly at a slight incline.  It gradually increases in speed and height.  Your EKG and blood pressure are monitored throughout the test. 

After you finish a certain amount of exercise a nuclear imaging material will be given again through your IV.  You will walk for another minute to help the isotope travel to the heart muscle. You must stay still during the scan which takes about 20 minutes. 

Plan to be at the hospital for 3-4 hours for this test.  If you are required to have a two-day study – your resting imaging will occur on one day, while your exercise or stress imaging will occur on the second day.  This is solely based on BSA calculations.

 

After the Test

You can eat and drink once the test is finished.  Your doctor will receive the results of this test.  Check with your medical provider to find out when the results will be available to you.

 

Cardiovascular Services – (508) 422-2460

Nuclear Imaging Stress Test with Persantine/Lexiscan

A Persantine/Lexiscan  nuclear imaging stress test shows the effect exercise has on the heart muscle. Persantine/Lexiscan increases the blood flow to the heart rate similar to what would happen during exercise.  The nuclear imaging material goes through the vessels of the heart showing any narrowed areas.

 

Getting Ready

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 4 hours before the test. No caffeine, food products or medications with caffeine for 24 hours prior to test
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing. Women should wear a bra for comfort. No sports bras
  • Bring eyeglasses if needed to fill out forms
  • Bring a list of your medications with you
  • Take your regular dose of medicine on the day of the test with a small amount of water
    • **Diabetic Instructions (or as your provider has instructed you if different)

      Regular, Novalog, Humalog or Apidra Insulin-DO NOT TAKE

      Oral diabetes medications-DO NOT TAKE

      Lantus, Levemir or NPH insulin-if you normally take:

      PM dose of Lantus, Levemir or NPH insulin, administer ¾ of your usual dose the evening before the procedure.

      AM dose of Lantus, Levemir or NPH insulin, administer ¾ your usual dose the morning of the procedure

               

    What to Expect

    An IV (intravenous) will be put into your arm/hand. You will be given an injection of a nuclear imaging agent through the IV. This causes no effect or sensations.  About 60 minutes after the injection, pictures of your heart will be taken.  These pictures take 20 minutes.

    You will be given a hospital gown and asked to undress from the waist up.  An area of your chest will be cleaned with a prepping agent and alcohol.  If necessary, your chest will be shaved.  EKG pads with gel are placed on your chest. Technicians will take a series of EKGs and resting blood pressures.  Your EKG and blood pressure are monitored throughout the test. 

    A technologist gives the Persantine/Lexiscan through the IV and then more nuclear imaging agent (These substances usually cause no effects or sensations). This only takes a few minutes. Next you are encouraged to eat.  You may or may not be asked to do a small amount of walking or arm exercises. 

    After an hour of waiting, you are brought to the nuclear medicine section of the radiology department where a scan (moving picture) is taken.  You must stay still during the scan which takes about 20 minutes. 

    Plan to be at the hospital for 3-4 hours for this test.

     

    After the Test

    You can eat and drink once the test is finished.  Your doctor will receive the results of this test.  Check with your medical provider to find out when the results will be available to you.

    Cardiovascular Services (508) 422-2460

     

    Nuclear Imaging Stress Test with Dobutamine

    A Dobutamine nuclear stress test shows the effect exercise has on the heart muscle. For patients who need a nuclear imaging stress test but cannot exert themselves, the drug Dobutamine is given to increase the heart rate similar to what would happen during exercise.  The nuclear imaging material goes through the vessels of the heart showing any narrowed areas.

    Getting Ready

    • You may have clear liquids up to 2 hours before the procedure
    • Wear loose comfortable clothing. Women should wear a bra for comfort. No sports bras
    • Bring eyeglasses if needed to fill out forms
    • Bring a list of your medications with you
    • Take your regular dose of medicine on the day of the test with a small amount of water
    • If you are on a beta blocker for blood pressure control, do not take this medicine the night before or the morning of your test
      • **Diabetic Instructions: (or as your provider has instructed you if different)

        Regular, Novalog, Humalog or Apidra Insulin-DO NOT TAKE

        Oral diabetes medications-DO NOT TAKE

        Lantus, Levemir or NPH insulin-if you normally take:

         PM dose of Lantus, Levemir or NPH insulin, administer ¾ of your usual dose the evening before the procedure.

        AM dose of Lantus, Levemir or NPH insulin, administer ¾ your usual dose the morning of the procedure

                   

      What to Expect

      An IV (intravenous) will be put into your arm/hand. You will be given an injection of a nuclear imaging agent through the IV. This causes no effect or sensations. About 60 minutes after the injection, pictures of your heart will be taken.  These pictures take 20 minutes.

      You will be given a hospital gown and asked to undress from the waist up.  An area of your chest will be cleaned with a prepping agent and alcohol.  If necessary, your chest will be shaved.  EKG pads with gel are placed on your chest. Technicians will take a series of EKGs and resting blood pressures.  Your EKG and blood pressure are monitored throughout the test. 

      A nurse gives the Dobutamine through the IV and then more nuclear imaging agent  (These substances usually cause no effects or sensations). This only takes a few minutes. Next you are encouraged to eat.  

      After an hour of waiting, you are brought to the nuclear medicine section of the radiology department where a scan (moving picture) is taken.  You must stay still during the scan which takes about 20 minutes. 

      Plan to be at the hospital for 3-4 hours for this test.

      After the Test

      You can eat and drink once the test is finished.  Your doctor will receive the results of this test.  Check with your medical provider to find out when the results will be available to you.

       

      Cardiovascular Services – (508) 422-2460

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