Myocardial Perfusion Scan

Myocardial Perfusion Scan
 
 

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Myocardial perfusion scan is a nuclear medicine procedure that investigates the blood supply and the function of the heart muscle (myocardium).

It evaluates many heart conditions from coronary artery disease (CAD) to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and myocardial wall motion abnormalities. The function of the myocardium is also evaluated by calculating the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of the heart. This scan is done in conjunction with a cardiac stress test.

The majority of thee studies takes 3-4 hours in total and involve a stress test and two scans of the heart. The scans are taken with you lying flat on a camera bed. They assess the heart in rest and stress conditions to look for major blockages to the blood supply of the heart ("coronary artery disease"). A drip("cannula") will be put into an arm vein. It is used for giving the two doses of radiotracer required for the scans, and medications/drugs or fluids. For the stress and one of the scans your heart will be monitored using ECG dots.

A resting scan of your heart will be performed first. This takes 15-20 minutes. You will then have a short wait before being taken into the stress testing room. The stress test may be done by walking on a treadmill ("exercise stress testing") and/or drug infusion ("pharmacological stress testing") using dipyridamole (Persantin), adenosine, or dobutamine. A doctor and other staff will stay with you during the stress test.

If you exercise, the treadmill would generally get faster and steeper every three minutes. We would like you to walk for as long as you reasonably can. If you cannot do this for any reason, a drug infusion is usually a good alternative and is used to increase blood flow to the heart. You may need to do some low-level exercise (slow walking on treadmill or leg raising).

The study requires two injections of a radiotracer. Side-effects to this are very rare. They will expose you to a small amount of radiation. The radiation dose from this study is similar to that received from various diagnostic CT scans, and is much lower than with coronary arteriography (cardiac catheterisation).

PATIENT PREPARATION
MYOCARDIAL PERFUSION STUDY:

  • ** EXTREMELY IMPORTANT **
    Do not have caffeine for 24 hours before your test. This includes tea, coffee (de-caffeinated coffee or green tea), cola/many soft drinks, chocolate, MILO, OVALTINE, chewing gum and choc cake/biscuits. Caffeine is a stimulant and interferes with this test.
  • Nil by mouth 4 hours prior to your appointment (no food).
  • You may take your usual medications with water (do not drink more than 2 glasses on the day of your scan).
  • If you take "ASASANTIN" please contact us as soon as possible as we may need to make other arrangements for your test.
  • If you are an Insulin-Dependent diabetic or Asthmatic, please let us know as soon as possible.

WHAT TO WEAR:

  • A loose-fitting, short sleeved COTTON shirt.
  • Please wear pants or a skirt suitable for possible exercising in.
  • Comfortable non-slip shoes (NOT thongs) suitable for walking on a treadmill.
(There are three different ways of performing this test not all requiring you to walk on the treadmill. This will be discussed with the Doctor at the time of the examination.)

WHAT TO BRING:

  • Your request form from your doctor. If coming from The Prince Charles Hospital or if your GP has contacted the hospital regarding treatment for you, we quite possibly already have your referral.
  • A list of your regular medications.
  • Medicare Card as this procedure is bulk-billed for ALL PATIENTS.

HOW LONG WILL THE PROCEDURE TAKE?

It is best to allow 4 hours. You may have a 1 hour break between parts.

 

THE ECG TECHNICIAN WILL PHONE (MON – FRI) THE DAY BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT TO CONFIRM YOUR BOOKING AND CHECK YOUR MEDICATION LIST.
THE TECHNICIAN WILL ALSO BE ABLE TO HELP WITH ANY OTHER QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE.

 

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