The purpose of the test is to assess the blood flow to the heart muscle at peak stress and again at rest. This test is used in people who are unable to exercise. In lieu of exercise on a treadmill, the medication dobutamine is given, which provides additional pumping strength by stimulating the heart muscle. The test is given over two separate days. On one day, you will receive an infusion of dobutamine and Cardiolite, which is referred to as the stress portion of the test, and on the other day, an infusion of Cardiolite only, which is referred to as the rest portion of the test.
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.
Before the stress portion of the test, a small intravenous (IV) line will be started in a vein in your arm. The IV will allow us to inject the dobutamine and Cardiolite into the bloodstream at the appropriate time. A blood pressure cuff will be placed around your other arm to monitor your blood pressure periodically during the test. Electrodes will be placed on your chest to monitor your electrocardiogram throughout the test.
A special pump will be used to infuse dobutamine into your bloodstream for approximately 12 to 15 minutes. When the heart rate reaches approximately 85% of the maximum heart rate for your age, a small amount of a radioactive tracer called Cardiolite will be injected into the same IV line. The Cardiolite will “mark” the blood flow pattern to the heart. After completion of the dobutamine infusion, we will continue to monitor your blood and electrocardiogram for a few minutes. The IV line and the electrodes will then be removed and you will need to eat a fatty meal. The fatty meal helps clear out activity in the stomach and colon.
Approximately one hour later the pictures will be taken with a special camera where you will lie on your back with your arms above your head while the camera takes pictures of the blood flow to your heart from many different angles of your chest. The pictures are stored in digital form on a special computer.
On a separate day, the resting portion of the exam will be performed. Cardiolite will be injected directly into a vein while you are at rest. After you have been injected, you will need to eat a fatty meal. Approximately one hour later, a set of pictures of the blood flow to your heart will be recorded. After you leave the laboratory we will perform special computer processing of both sets of pictures to compare the blood flow pattern to your heart at stress and at rest.
The test will be performed at:
Legacy Heart Center 6601 Preston Road Plano, Texas 75024469-800-6300
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.
Cardiolite can increase the accuracy of traditional stress testing in detection of coronary artery disease.
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.