Preparation for the scan is required:
- Avoid caffeinated food/beverages from midnight before the scan (eg: Coffee, Tea, Bananas, Chocolate, Coke and Cocoa)
- Fast from 10pm the previous night
The following medication should be discontinued at least 48 hours prior to the exam:
- Beta receptor blockers
- Calcium channel antagonist
- Blood thinners
- Patient should not be asthmatic
It may be necessary to stop certain blood pressure and other medication. Please contact our practice.
The arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle, are collectively known as coronary arteries. In Coronary Artery Disease some of the vessels become narrowed, restricting the blood flow to parts of the heart muscle. If the vessel blocks the heart muscle supplied by it dies, a myocardial infarction results. This is also known as a heart attack or coronary. A narrowing of a coronary artery may produce chest pain if blood flow is too restricted, known as Angina. The narrowing is due to a build up of fats and other substances in the lining of the vessel, a process called Athrosclerosis.
- A drip will be inserted into the patient's arm. The patient will go to the Cardio-vascular Investigation Unit / Cardiologist rooms
- The patient will be connected to a heart monitor (ECG)
- The patient will be asked to walk on a treadmill that will slowly increase in speed.
- Their heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored the whole time (if the patient experience any shortness of breath or chest pain or similar symptom they must alert the staff immediately).
- The patient needs to exercise for as long as possible to improve the effectiveness of the test.
- One minute prior to the patient stopping, the radiotracer (99mTechnetium MIBI) will be injected through the drip line.
- After the exercising is complete you will be asked to have a fatty meal (toasted cheese sandwich, or bacon and eggs), which causes the gallbladder to contract and will cause the radiotracer to flush out of all of the organs except the heart.
- The patient must return to Nuclear Med's rooms approximately 2 hours later. During this time the radiotracer will have concentrated in the heart while the remainder will have been excreted via the digestive system leaving only the heart visible on the scan).
- The images are taken while the patient lies on their back with their hands above their head.
- The scan takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.
- You may be asked to return to the department the following day for another set of images that will show your heart when it has been rested. (Nuclear Med staff will advise if this is necessary)
- All of these images and a written report will be sent to the referring doctor.