cardiac perfusion scan measures the amount of blood in your heart muscle at
rest and after your heart has been made to work
During the scan, a camera takes pictures of
your heart after a radioactive tracer is injected into a
vein in your arm. The tracer travels through the blood and
into your heart. As the tracer moves through
your heart, areas that have good blood flow absorb the
tracer. Areas that do not absorb the tracer may not be
getting enough blood or may have been damaged by a heart attack. The
pictures show this difference.
Two sets of pictures may
be made during the test. One set is taken while you are
resting. Another set is taken after your heart has been made to work harder (called a stress test). The heart can be stressed by using medicine or exercise. This information is about using medicine to stress the heart.
This test is also known by other names, including
myocardial perfusion scan, myocardial perfusion imaging, thallium scan,
sestamibi cardiac scan, and nuclear stress test.
The test is often done to find out what may be
causing chest pain or pressure. It may be done after a heart attack to see if areas of the
heart are not getting enough blood or to find out how much
your heart has been damaged from the
Tell your doctor if:
This test takes about 30 to 40
The stress scan is done in two parts. In many hospitals, you first have the resting scan. You are then given a medicine that makes your heart work harder and you have another scan. Sometimes the stress scan is done first.
Call 911 anytime you
think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek
immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to
contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be
sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having
problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask
your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
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Current as of:
May 6, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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