NUCLEAR IMAGING is a common procedure given to millions of people every year. This safe and useful test will help your physician see whether you have CAD (Coronary Artery Disease).
What is Nuclear Imaging?
Nuclear Myocardial Perfusion Imaging is a procedure that lets your physician look at the flow of blood to the heart muscle.
Nuclear- refers to the tracer injected into your bloodstream. This tracer contains a small amount of radiation similar to that used in a common x-ray.
Myocardial-refers to the heart muscle (Myocardium)
Perfusion- refers to the passage of blood through the circulatory system.
Imaging – refers to the computer- generated pictures taken during the test by a special camera.
What information can be learned from this procedure?
Nuclear MPI will help your physician determine:
1.If your heart is receiving enough blood. 2.If you have CAD (Coronary Artery Disease). 3.If more tests are necessary.
How long does the study take?
Treadmill Nuclear Stress = Approximately 2 Hours
Lexiscan Nuclear Stress = Approximately 3 Hours
Is this a safe procedure?
Like many people, you may be worried about the radioactive tracer you will receive during the test, but you can feel comfortable about this procedure. The radiation amount is the same or less than the amount that you would receive during a typical X- ray and your body quickly eliminates it through natural means.
Will the injection make me feel different?
An IV access will be started in your arm. This IV access will be used for at least two injections. The first injection will be radioactive Thallium. Thallium does not make you feel any different from normal. If you walk on the treadmill, you will receive another injection while walking called Myoview. Myoview does not make you feel any different either. If you are unable to exercise adequately, you will be given a 10 second injection of Lexiscan. You will likely feel breathless for 1-2 minutes and rarely nausea and headaches may occur. This is normal and can be expected. Most adverse effects resolve quickly and spontaneously.
How is the test performed?
This procedure involves three steps.
Step One: Rest Images
An IV will be started in your arm and you will be given an injection called Thallium- 201. There are no risks of an allergic reaction. This injection will circulate through the bloodstream for approximately 20 minutes. Imaging will then be made of your heart, which represents your heart at rest. You will lie on a special chair underneath a gamma camera that will rotate around your chest, taking pictures of your heart from different angles. You are required to keep both arms extended over your head. Please let us know if you are unable to extend your arms high above your head before the test.
This photo session takes about 15 minutes
Step Two: Stress (Treadmill or Lexiscan)
Small round pads will be attached to your chest. The pads are attached to wires that lead to an electrocardiograph (ECG). A blood pressure cuff is attached to your arm. You will walk on a treadmill until you reach 85% MHR. You will then receive an injection called Myoview. You will need to continue walking on the treadmill a minimum of two minutes after the injection.
Small round pads will be attached to your chest. The pads are attached to wires that lead to an electrocardiograph (ECG). A blood pressure cuff is attached to your arm. You will then receive the Lexiscan injection. You will also receive an injection of Myoview.
Step Three: Stress Images
Images will be taken approximately 20 minutes after exercise. After the second set of images, your pictures will be checked on the computer. You will then be free to go home and return on another day to discuss the results with your doctor, or you will see the doctor the day of your test.
*A wait time of at least 60 minutes is required*
You should plan on bringing a snack or leaving for 45- 60 minutes to eat lunch.
When using Lexiscan, a longer wait time is required for optimal imaging. Following your break, you will lie on our special chair underneath our gamma camera again for stress images. Your pictures will be checked on the computer. You will then be free to leave to return another day to discuss the results with your physician, or you will see the doctor the day of the test.