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Myocardial Perfusion Test with Pharmacologic Stress (Outpatient)

Purpose of the Test

A myocardial perfusion scan is a non-invasive test. It is used to diagnose coronary artery disease (CAD), evaluate heart function and determine the best treatment for people who have CAD.

Patient Instructions

Diet

  • Do not eat 4 hours before the test.
  • Do not have caffeine 12 hours before your test.
    Examples of products with caffeine:
    Chocolate       
    Coffee (both regular & decaf)     
    Tea       
    Soft drinks        
    Anacin
    Cafergot          
    Darvon
    Esgic
    Excedrin
    Fioricet
    Fiorinal
    NoDoz
    Norgesic
    Synalgos-DC
    Wigraine
  • Drink fluids as usual.
  • If you have diabetes, take insulin as usual. Eat breakfast two hours before the test. If you have questions about insulin/diet, please talk to your primary care doctor.

Medicine

  • Take all prescribed medicines unless told not to by your doctor. Bring medicines with you. Do not take medicines with theophylline 12 hours before your test. Do not take medicines with dipyridamole 48 hours before your test.
    Examples of medicines containing theophylline:
    Aerolate      
    Aggrenox            
    Bronkodyl      
    Constant-T       
    Elixophyllin      
    Persantine      
    Primatene (tablets)    
    Quibron       
    Respbid       
    Slo-Bid 
    Slo-Phyllin
    Sustaire
    T-Phyl
    Theo-24
    Theo-Dur
    Theo-Organidin
    Theo-Sav
    Theo-X
    Theobid
    Theochron
    Theoclear
    Theolair
    Theophylline SR
    Theospan
    Theostat
    Trental (Pentoxifylline)
    Uniphyl 
  • Do not take erectile dysfunction (ED) medicines 48 hours before your test.

Test Time

  • Plan for at least 4 hours.

Clothing

  • Wear shorts, comfortable slacks or sweatpants.
  • Do not wear panty hose.
  • Wear tennis shoes or comfortable walking shoes.

Smoking

  • Do not smoke the morning of the test.

The Test

  • You will sign a consent form giving us the go-ahead to do the test.
  • We will place an intravenous (IV) line into your arm or hand. We will give you very small amounts of radioactive substances (isotopes) through this line. These isotopes will allow a special camera to “see” blood flow.
  • A nuclear medicine technologist will inject the first isotope into your IV. After waiting at least 30 to 60 minutes for the isotope to enter your heart muscle, we will take the first scan of your heart. This scan may take up to 30 minutes.
  • When the first scan is done, we will get you ready for the “stress” part of your test. We will prepare the skin on your chest where the electrodes will be placed with a coarse lotion. We may have to shave some hair from the chests of male patients. Doing so ensures the electrodes make good contact with the chest to accurately monitor your heart’s rhythm.
  • We will closely monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and heart rhythm (ECG). 
  • We will then give you a medicine that mimics a stress test. This medicine can be given while you are lying down. This medicine may cause mild nausea, headache, shortness of breath, chest pain or a flushed feeling. If you notice any discomfort or chest pain, let us know. This part of the test takes about five minutes.
  • We will give the second dose of isotope at this time. People usually have no side effects from the isotopes.
  • Next, we wait 45 to 60 minutes to allow your body to process these medications.  During this time, we suggest you have something light to eat. You may even have coffee. You are welcome to bring your own snack or you may go to the hospital’s cafe to buy a snack.
  • After this wait, you will have a second scan of your heart. The second scan may take up to 20 minutes.

If you have any questions, please call: 
CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center at 320-656-7020 or 800-448-3455

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