This form of testing can be done in the office. These tests require the use of minimally radioactive tracer medication to provide another kind of imaging of the heart. This medication is injected via an intravenous portal in the hand or arm and allowed to circulate for a period of time.
The patient lies down on the Nuclear camera bed. The camera head moves in rotation around the patient, capturing various images of the heart at intervals. It is an open room and the camera head is an open device. All that is required of the patient is to lay still during the camera rotation.
On occasion, the patient will be given the tracer medication and then asked to walk on a treadmill (Nuclear stress test). An EKG and blood pressure monitoring captures heart activity during the test and the patient is carefully monitored for signs and symptoms of any exercise induced pain or extreme shortness of breath. Immediately following the exercise period, Nuclear scan images are captured of the heart activity.
It is important to note that every dose of medication used for this test is unique to the patient for height/weight ratio as well as the time of day for the test. The duration of the tracer material is very short lived. It is important to keep your appointment time or cancel prior to 48 hours of your test. Once ordered, the testing material cannot be used for anyone else; you may be charged for it if too short of notice is given for cancellation.
The total time involved with this test may vary from 2-3 hours.