How To Prepare continued...
Do not eat or drink for at least 3 hours before a cardiac perfusion
scan. If you are having a stress scan, avoid alcohol, tobacco, caffeinated
beverages, and nonprescription medicines for at least 24 hours before the test.
Wear comfortable shoes and loose shorts or pants suitable for
exercise. Remove all jewelry before the test.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need
for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results may mean.
To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
A cardiac perfusion scan is usually done in a hospital radiology or
nuclear medicine department, a doctor's office, or at an outpatient clinic. The
test is done by a doctor and technologist trained in
For resting scans, in which you do not exercise, you will be
asked to remove your clothing above the waist, and you will be given a hospital
gown to wear. Electrodes might be attached to your chest to keep track of
You will have a very thin tube, called an IV, going into your arm or hand. A small amount of the
radioactive tracer will be put in the IV.
You will lie on your back on a table with a large camera
positioned above your chest. The camera records the tracer's signals as it
moves through your blood. The camera does not produce any radiation, so you are
not exposed to any additional radiation while the scan is being done.
You will be asked to remain very still during each scan, which
takes 5 to 10 minutes. The camera will move to take more pictures at different
angles. Several scans will be taken.
The entire test takes 30 to 40 minutes, after which you can
resume your normal activities.
Stress scan using medicine
The stress scan is done in two parts. In many hospitals, the
first images are taken while the person is at rest. Then a second set of images
is taken after the person is given a medicine such as adenosine,
which makes the heart respond like it would to exercise. Sometimes the stress scan is done first and the resting scan might be done the next day.