Cardiolite Stress Test
A cardiolite stress test is a test that utilizes a radioactive substance (tracer) to produce images of the heart muscle both before and after exercise. Resting images are obtained before exercise and images are obtained after exercise. This helps to determine if areas of the heart are receiving enough blood or if there are blockages (coronary artery disease).
An IV is started in the arm and a small amount of tracer is injected into the IV. This tracer travels in the blood and is picked up by heart muscle. The pre-exercise and post exercise images are compared. If the heart muscle does not pick up the tracer, it may signify that there is not adequate blood supply to an area. There may be a blockage (coronary artery disease).
The time needed to complete a cardiolite stress test is four to six hours. There should be nothing to eat or drink after mid-night before the test. The ordering physician will determine if the patient should take any of his or her medications prior to the test. The patient should wear loose and comfortable clothing. Soft soled shoes or sneakers should be worn. The patient will receive an IV to allow the injection of the tracer. There will be a wait of approximately an hour to an hour and a half before the first images are taken.
The patient will then have electrodes (patches) placed on the chest and several EKGs will be obtained. The patient will walk on the treadmill, starting slowly and increasing in incline and speed approximately every three minutes. It is important for the patient to tell the nurse or physician of any symptoms he or she may be feeling. At the end of the exercise time another injection of the tracer will be given. The exercise images will be obtained an hour and a half later. The physician will compare the pre-exercise and exercise images. A physician will read the test.
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