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Stress Test or Heart Scan

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Nuclear Medicine Stress Test or Heart Scan

The Nuclear Medicine Technologist will review your history and start in IV in your arm, near the hand or wrist area.

You will be taken into the treadmill room where your heart will be exercised either physically (walking on a treadmill) or with medication (an injection to increase your heart rate).  You will be monitored during the test with an electrocardiogram (EKG).

While you are exercising and your heart rate is at 85% of maximum, you will be injected with the tracer and asked to wait for a 30-45 min period before imaging of your heart is performed.  During this time you will have a small meal and liquid to drink.

Two sets of pictures will be taken, one lying down and one sitting upright, each taking 15 to 30 minutes. 

Nuclear medicine heart scans have few risks. The amount of radiation in this test is small. In rare instances, some people have a treatable allergic reaction to the tracer. If you have coronary heart disease, you may have chest pain during the stress test. Medicine can help relieve your chest pain. Talk to your doctor and the technicians performing the test about whether you are or could be pregnant.  

Exam Preparation
24 Hours Before Your Test:

  • No Coffee or tea of any kind (including decaffeinated coffee, tea or herbal tea).
  • No Colas, soft drinks (including caffeine free).
  • No Chocolate (candy, cakes, pies, cocoa, white chocolate, etc.).
  • No Excedrin, or any aspirin products containing caffeine
  • No Theophylline type medications
  • No Smoking
  • NO Beta blockers or calcium channel blockers (unless otherwise instructed by your physician)
The Day of Your Test:

  • Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours before the test.  You MAY drink water in any amount.
  • Wash chest area and avoid oil, lotion, powder or perfume.  
  • Wear comfortable two-piece clothing; bring a sweater or jacket; wear comfortable walking shoes.
  • Bring a list of current medications and dosage; bring your scheduled cardiac medications to take as directed by the technologist after the test.
  • If you are diabetic, please talk with your ordering physician about restrictions.
  • If you have asthma, bring your inhaler with you.
  • Bring a high fat snack and water with you to your appointment to be eaten between the exercise and imaging portion of the test. Eating a high fatty meal improves the images. Examples are (sandwich, peanut butter crackers, potato chips, etc.)
  • Arrive to your appointment 15 minutes prior to your imaging appointment time to allow for registration and preparation.
  • PLAN TO BE ON SITE FOR YOUR PROCEDURE APPROXIMATELY 2 HOURS
  • A $100.00 CANCELLATION FEE WILL BE ENFORCED TO PATIENTS WHO DO NOT SHOW FOR THEIR SCHEDULED PROCEDURE

Plan to bring your insurance card and picture ID with you for your examination.  Plan to pay any required co-pay at the time of service.  Child care is not available during the time of your examination.

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