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Stress Test FAQ's

Is a myocardial perfusion stress test safe?
Any stress procedure may have some risks, and you should consult with your physician regarding the risks and benefits of this procedure. The radioactive materials, Myoview and/or Thallium, have been shown to be safe. This test and these materials are routinely used worldwide, under physician supervision, for Myocardial Perfusion Imaging. Neither Myoview nor Thallium are dyes and there are no serious side effects associated from their injections.

How is the test performed?
The test consists of two parts, a rest and exercise portion. The entire test will be completed in 3-4 hours. An intravenous (I.V.) line will be placed in your arm or hand vein to allow the ease of the Myoview injection. The I.V. will be removed when the test in completed. Myoview will be administered through the I.V. while you are at rest and once again during peak exercise. After the resting injection of the Myoview is administered you will be asked to wait for one hour to let the tracer circulate. Pictures will then be taken of your heart using a special camera able to trace the Myoview that has localized in your heart. You will be asked to lie down on a special table, the camera will rotate above and around your chest while pictures are being taken, which will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. You may breathe normally while the pictures are being taken. It is very important that you do not move or shift your body while the camera takes the pictures of your heart. You will not receive any radiation from the camera. After the resting images of your heart have been completed, you will be brought to a treadmill room for the exercise stress test.

As in a regular stress test, ECG electrodes will be attached to your chest. This will allow the physician or physician's assistant to monitor your heart before, during and after exercise. A blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm to monitor your blood pressure before, during and after exercise.

The exercise part of the test is usually done with a treadmill, very similar to a treadmill used at a health club. Exercising will begin slowly, and every three minutes the pace and the incline will gradually increase. As you exercise, your heart rate and blood pressure will change. This is normal, and remember, you are being closely monitored throughout the exercise. At your peak exercise, Myoview will be injected through the I.V. and you will be asked to continue exercising for an additional one or two minutes.

Approximately 30 minutes after the exercise is completed, the stress pictures are taken in the same manner as the resting pictures. This will complete the testing. A Cardiologist will interpret the images and a written report will be sent to your primary physician.

What happens if I am unable to exercise?
Some people, because of a variety of disabilities or effect of medications are unable to exercise adequately on a treadmill to achieve an optimal heart rate. In these cases, an injection of a drug called Persantine can produce an effect on the heart similar to exercise. Your physician will choose the type of stress testing.

Are there any special preparations?

  • Clothing - You should wear comfortable clothing for exercise and shoes appropriate for walking. Please shower before the test and do not use any body powders or lotion on your skin.

  • Food - You should have nothing to eat, drink, or smoke, except water to take medications, eight (8) hours prior to the test. Consume absolutely no caffeine (coffee, decaf coffee, beverages, foods and medicatins that contain caffeine).

  • All medications should be continued, unless otherwise instructed by your physician.

  • Diabetic patients, if you are unable to eat breakfast due to a morning scheduled appointment do not administer insulin or diabetic medication until the test is completed. If your test is scheduled in the afternoon, please eat a light breakfast and take half of your insulin dose.

Important Points To Remember

  • Please bring a list of your current medications, including names and dosages.

  • Please bring your insurance information and/or your physician's written orders and/or a referral form if applicable.

  • You will receive an injection of the tracer for each part of the exam.

  • The radioactive tracer is ordered especially for you. If you are unable to keep your appointment for any reason, notify the office one day before the exam at 586-775-4594.

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding notify your physician before taking the test.

  • A written report of the test will be sent to your physician once it is interpreted.

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