Gated Cardiac Perfusion
These exams are to evaluate the ability for the heart to get its blood supply through the coronary arteries. This is an indirect testing method, whereas a cardiac catheterization is a direct testing method. Often, your physician will order this test if a blockage is suspected to see if you need the more invasive cardiac catheterization. This type of study also shows the physician the motion of the heart walls.
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the morning you are having the stress part of the exam. If you are not walking on the treadmill but being stressed with the Persantine, NO caffeine for 24 hours prior to the exam. Also, if you take a medication that contains theophylline for a lung problem, you will have to be off that medication for 24 hours prior to the exam.
Stress Images - You will be asked to walk on a treadmill to stress the heart or, if you are unable to walk for some reason, you will have your heart stressed chemically with the drug Persantine(Dipyridamole). Your physician or the cardiologist will monitor the stress part of your test, checking the EKG constantly for any problems. When you achieve your maximum predicted heart rate, the nuclear medicine technologist will inject an isotope, which will locate in the heart muscle. After waiting for the isotope to be taken up by the heart, approximately 20 minutes to an hour, you will be taken to nuclear medicine to do images of the stressed heart.
Rest Images -You will either come the day before or the day after the stress images for a second set of images taken when the heart is at rest. Or, it is possible that you will have the resting images in the morning and the stress images in the early afternoon of the same day. This will depend on your physician and how they order the test. When you come for the resting images you will be given an injection of isotope and asked to wait for 45 minutes before the images are taken. You do not have to be fasting for the resting images.
The two sets of images of your heart will be sent to a cardiologist at Atlanta Cardiology for interpretation. The report will be available to your physician within 3-4 working days.