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Exercise Myocardial Perfusion Imaging

This test is for those who are able to walk on a treadmill.

Before the test:

  • No food or drink for six hours before the test.
  • Hold all beta-blocker medications for 24 hours unless otherwise instructed by your physician.
  • Contact your physician for questions regarding which, if any, medications to hold.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and walking shoes.
  • Allow approximately four hours for the test.

During the test:

Resting Pictures

  • When you arrive for the test, a radioactive substance, known as a tracer, will be injected into your vein via IV. You will wait approximately 20 minutes before having the pictures of your heart taken with the scanning camera. After the pictures, you will then be taken to a stress lab to prepare for either the exercise or medication portion of the exam.

Stress Test

  • In order to monitor your heart function, electrodes will be placed on your chest (men may need to have their chest hair trimmed to ensure electrodes stay in place). You will also be equipped with a blood pressure cuff.
  • You will be asked to begin walking on the treadmill with the speed and incline increasing gradually in order to achieve the optimum heart rate, at which point another tracer will be injected. You may be required to walk for a short time after this injection.
  • If you are not able to exercise or reach your target heart rate, a special medication (Lexiscan®) may be used to simulate exercise. When special medication is used, this is known as a pharmacologic MPI.
  • Second Set of Pictures
    After completion of the stress portion, you will be given a small snack to eat before it is time for your second set of pictures.

After the test:

You will be able to resume your normal activities and medications after the procedure. A cardiologist will review and interpret the images and a report will be sent to your doctor