Undergoing a Myocardial Perfusion Stress Test at UPMC Susquehanna
If your doctor thinks you may have a coronary artery disease (CAD), he or she will schedule you for a myocardial perfusion stress test in Williamsport, PA.
Myocardial perfusion stress test scans are ordered to:
- Detect (CAD) in patients with atypical chest pain
- Detect coronary artery disease in patients with peripheral vascular disease
- Detect asymptomatic CAD in patients at risk (example: )
- Evaluate therapeutic effect of surgery, or medications
Preparing for a Myocardial Perfusion Stress Test
You may have dietary and medical restrictions prior to a myocardial perfusion stress test.
Dietary restrictions: If scheduled before 11 a.m., please fast from midnight on unless directed otherwise by the ordering physician. However you may drink water if taking medications. If scheduled after 11 a.m., you may eat a light breakfast before 7 a.m. No caffeine, decaffeinated products, or chocolate products 24 hours prior to the test. Discontinue vitamins or herbal supplements 24 hours prior to your test.
Medication restrictions: Your physician will inform you what medications you can take or hold.
We recommend you:
- Discontinue medications such as Trental (within six hours of the test)
- Discontinue Theophylline, Theodur, Aminophylline, Aggrenox, Persantine or Dipyridamole taken within 48 hours of the test
- No sublingual Nitro, Nitropaste four hours before test
- We recommend that you do not take Viagra®, Levitra® or Cialis® 24 hours prior to you test
If you have questions please contact non-invasive Nurse at (570) 321-2700. Please bring a list of your medications, inhalers, vitamins or herbal supplements. Please wear comfortable shoes, preferably sneakers. Wear clothing without metal buttons or zippers over the chest. Female patients should wear bras without underwires.
What Happens During a Myocardial Perfusion Stress Test?
A certified nuclear medicine technologist will verify your identity and explain the procedure. He/she will administer a radioactive isotope called sestamibi. There is a one hour delay to allow circulation of the isotope. A technologist will give you a light snack and water to help improve image quality.
At one hour, you will be taken into an imaging room and asked to lie on an imaging table. You will be positioned by a technologist and pictures will be taken of your heart. Patients are generally very comfortable for the imaging session. After the pictures are complete, you will be taken to the non-invasive department for your stress test. A registered nurse will explain the procedure and prepare you for the test. Depending on what your physician ordered, the nurse will either administer a pharmaceutical to increase your heart rate or you will be asked to walk on a treadmill.
Once the procedure begins you will be closely monitored by an EKG technician and a registered nurse. Once the target heart rate is reached, the nuclear medicine technologist will administer another dose of sestamibi. The stress test will be completed two minutes after the isotope is administered. Staff will continue to monitor you and when you are at rest, they will escort you back to nuclear medicine. There is a 60 minute delay from the time of injection to allow the isotope to circulate. After the one hour delay, you will be taken into the same imaging room and asked to lie on an imaging table. You will be positioned by a technologist and pictures will be taken of your heart. A board certified nuclear medicine physician will review and interpret your scan. The results will be available to your physician within one working day.
How Long Will This Take?
Upon arrival you will be registered by our office staff. A certified nuclear medicine technologist will explain the procedure, start an IV and inject the isotope sestamibi. There is a minimum one hour delay to allow the isotope to circulate. You will be given a light snack and water. This will enhance the image quality. Please follow directions provided by technologist so we can obtain the best image possible. After the isotope has had a chance to circulate, the technologist will position you on an imaging table and take images of your heart. You will then be taken to the stress lab. A registered nurse will explain the procedure, place electrodes on your chest and either administer a pharmaceutical to stress your heart or you will walk on a treadmill. Once you reach a target heart rate, a technologist will administer a second dose of sestamibi.
There is minimum one hour delay from the time of injection to allow the isotope to circulate. After the isotope has had a chance to circulate, the technologist will position you on an imaging table and take images of your heart. The total procedure time is four hours.