COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update Learn More

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Myocardial Perfusion Test with Exercise 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


  • Do not eat 4 hours before the test.
  • Do not have caffeine 12 hours before the test.
  • Examples of products with caffeine:
    • Chocolate
    • Coffee (regular & decaf)
    • Soft drinks
    • Tea
    • 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 2 hours before your test. If you have questions about insulin/diet, talk to your primary care doctor.


  • Take all prescribed medicines unless told not to by your doctor.
  • Bring medicines with you.
  • Do not take erectile dysfunction (ED) medicines 48 hours before the test.

Test Time

  • Plan for at least 4 hours.


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


  • 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 use this line to give you very small amounts of radioactive substances (isotopes). These isotopes 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.
  • You will then walk on the treadmill. An exercise physiologist will watch the monitor for any rhythm problems or changes that may suggest heart disease.
  • We will closely watch your heart rate, blood pressure and heart rhythm (ECG).
  • When you reach your peak exercise on the treadmill, the nuclear medicine technologist will inject the second dose of isotope. If you are not able to reach your maximum level of exercise, your doctor may use an IV medication to increase the blood flow to the heart and “mimic” the physical exercise response.
  • When done, we will take a second scan of your heart. This 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.