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The purpose of this test is to determine the blood flow to the heart muscle when the heart is under stress (exercise) and at rest. Before exercise, a small intravenous (IV) line will be started in a vein in your arm. The IV will allow us to inject the Cardiolite marker into the bloodstream at the appropriate time.

Following are some frequently asked questions about the test and how to prepare for it. Click on the question for the answer, which will appear below the questions.

What will happen during the test?

During the test, the cardiologist and a technician are present. Electrodes will be placed on the chest the same as for an electrocardiogram (ECG). Your blood pressure, heart rate, and ECG will be recorded.

You will be asked to perform a “graded” exercise test on a motor-driven treadmill. The first stage of the test will begin with the treadmill at a slow speed and a little uphill inclination. Every three minutes the treadmill increases in speed and elevation. The physician or technician may stop the test at any time for medical reasons or you may stop the test because of significant fatigue or discomfort. In general, however, we encourage you to exercise as long as possible in order to maximally stress the blood flow to your heart.

Cardiolite will be injected into your bloodstream through the IV. You will walk for 2 additional minutes after the injection. Cardiolite is taken up by the heart muscle in proportion to the blood flow to it through the coronary arteries. After exercise, we will use a special camera to take x-ray like pictures of the blood flow to your heart.

On a separate day, the rest portion of the exam will be performed. Cardiolite will be injected directly into a superficial vein while you are resting. After the injection you will need to eat a fatty meal. The fatty meal helps clear out activity in the stomach and colon.

Approximately one hour later, we will take a set of pictures of the resting blood flow to your heart. After you leave the laboratory we will perform special computer processing of the pictures in order to compare the blood flow patterns at stress and rest.


What is the preparation for the stress portion?

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and comfortable walking shoes.
  • Since your blood pressure will be checked periodically during the test, wear a short-sleeved shirt or blouse.
  • Do not wear boots, jumpsuits, overalls, or a dress.
  • Please do not eat or drink anything with caffeine in it for 24 hours before your stress test. Items with caffeine include sodas, ‘caffeine free’ sodas, coffee, decaf coffee, tea, decaf tea, chocolate, Excedrin and certain cold or diet pills.
  • Do not eat anything 4 hours prior to the stress test. If you are diabetic, follow your normal regimen but eat light. You may have juice before the test if needed.
  • Please do not smoke or exercise 8 hours before testing.
  • You should continue to take all medications, unless your cardiologist instructs you to do otherwise.

What is the preparation for the rest portion?

  • Please do not eat or drink anything with caffeine in it for 4 hour before your resting test. Items with caffeine include sodas, ‘caffeine free’ sodas, coffee, decaf coffee, tea, decaf tea, chocolate, Excedrin and certain cold or diet pills.
  • Do not eat anything 4 hours prior to the test. If you are diabetic, follow your normal regimen but eat light. You may have juice before the test if needed.
  • Please do not smoke or exercise 8 hours before testing.
  • If you routinely take any medications take them as prescribed.

What should I bring with me to the stress test?

  • Inhalers, if you use them.
  • List of medications and dosages.
  • Insurance card.
  • Referral for the stress test if required by your insurance company.

Where will the test be performed?

The test will be performed at:

Legacy Heart Center
6601 Preston Road
Plano, Texas 75024
469-800-6300

It is very important that you keep your appointment once it is scheduled. If you must cancel your appointment, please give the office at least 24 hours notice by calling 469-800-6300. Our testing schedule requires tight time restrictions, so please notify the office immediately if you will be late for your appointment. We appreciate your complete cooperation.

What is the accuracy of the test results?

Cardiolite can increase the accuracy of traditional stress testing in detection of coronary artery disease.


Who will give me the results?

After a review of the test, your medical history, other imaging modalities and previous tests by a Legacy Heart Center cardiologist, a report will be sent to the ordering physician. The ordering physician will then review the results and discuss them with you.