Cardiac Nuclear Persantine Exercise Stress Test

What Is A Cardiac Nuclear Persantine Stress Test?

Your doctor has ordered you a stress test with a medicine called Persantine. The test will show images/pictures that will help your doctor know if there is an area of your heart that is not getting enough blood. Nuclear imaging material is also given. It is not a dye and is safe. Persantine, along with nuclear imaging material, is given through an IV (intravenous) in your arm. Then, images/pictures of your heart are taken.

How Does The Persantine Work On The Heart?

Persantine helps widen the arteries. Healthy arteries will respond better to Persantine than arteries that are diseased. The scan done after you are given the IV injection will show the areas of the heart that are supplied by healthy arteries and those that might have blockages or are diseased.

What Will The Pictures Show?

The IV injection sends the nuclear imaging material through the bloodstream to the heart. The nuclear imaging material has a small amount of radiation that can be seen with a special camera. The areas of the heart that are diseased (because of blocked or narrowed arteries) will not show as much nuclear material as healthy arteries. The pictures will show the areas with less blood flow, called "defects." The cardiologist (heart doctor) will analyze these pictures.

How Is It Done?

The test (scan) is done in two parts, while resting and with stress. For part one, an IV is started in a vein in your arm. Then, the nuclear imaging material is given. This will be allowed to circulate for 30 minutes while you rest comfortably in a bed or chair.

After 30 minutes, the first scan will be done. You will be asked to lie flat with your left arm above your head. This scan takes about 15 minutes. After this scan, the second part of the test will begin.

For the second part of the test you will rest on a bed or chair. Persantine is given through your IV. Then, you will be given another injection of nuclear imaging material. After the injection, you will be asked to do some light exercise for about 4 minutes. The exercise may be either swinging your legs and/or doing hand exercises using soft hand grips. Once again, the imaging material will circulate for 30 minutes while you rest. You can eat or drink while you wait. Then the final scan will be done using the same camera. This scan time is about 15 minutes.

It is important for you to lie still for each scan while the camera moves around your chest. The two scans will help the cardiologist tell if any defects or blockages are temporary, or if they are permanent due to earlier heart damage.

What Do I Need To Do To Get Ready?

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your test.
  • NO caffeine for 12 hours before your test and NO tobacco the day of the test.
  • Bring all of your signed doctors’ orders and referrals with you.
  • Bring a list of your medicines with you.
  • Know if you should take any of your medicines on the day of the test.
  • Tell your doctor if you have asthma or any lung disease.
  • Dress in comfortable clothing for the test.

*ASK THE DOCTOR who ordered the test for directions about your medicines. Ask about any medicines with THEOPHYLLINE, and any heart medicines or medicines for diabetes. If you take Persantine (dipyridamole) pills at home you must tell the doctor who ordered the test.

How Long Will The Test Take?

Allow 3-1/2 to 4 hours for the test

How Will I Get The Results?

Results should be ready in about 48-72 hours. Contact the doctor who ordered the test to get your results.

PLEASE NOTE: If the results of your test need to be sent to a doctor who does not practice at Doylestown Hospital, you will need to provide the doctor's full name, address and, if possible, FAX number. You may give us this information on the day of your visit or call 215-345-2231 Monday through Friday 8AM – 4:30PM.

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