Stress Thallium | Test Cost in Delhi | Nuclear Stress Test
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Stress Thallium

A method of examining the heart to obtain information about the blood supply to the heart muscle. Special cameras take a series of pictures of the heart. A radioactive substance is injected into the bloodstream and serves as a tracer. The tracer attaches to certain cells and makes them visible to the special camera. The tracer attaches to the muscle cells of the heart so the imaging camera can take pictures of the heart muscles. If an area of the heart does not receive an adequate flow of blood, the cells in the underserved area do not receive as much tracer and it appears as a darker area on the picture taken by the camera.

There are two parts to the stress exercise

  • Sestamibi Scan: an exercise part and
  • Rest part.

The patient has an IV (intravenous) line placed in the arm, EKG patches are applied to chest and connected to an EKG machine to monitor the heart. Then the patient exercises as hard as possible on the treadmill to give information about how well the heart functions with exercise. One minute before stopping exercise, the tracer, sestamibi, is injected IV to give the tracer time to circulate through the bloodstream. Then one lies flat on a table with arms above the head. A large imaging camera is brought close to the chest for the first set of scans. This part of the scan lasts about 25 minutes.

A second set of pictures is taken approximately 3 hours after the injection. The patient should not eat but can drink fluids that do not contain caffeine. The entire test takes approximately 5 to 6 hours.

To prepare for the stress exercise sestamibi scan, the patient should not drink or eat anything containing caffeine for 24 hours before the test (this includes decaf coffee and chocolate) and should not eat or drink after midnight and not smoke on the day of the test. Most medications are taken as usual; however, one should check in advance with the doctor or nurse. Diabetics also should seek special instructions from the doctor or nurse.

The amount of radiation from the scan is no more than from other x-ray tests. However, if there is any chance the patient might be pregnant, she should notify the doctor or nurse before the test is done.

Frequently Asked Questions

A radioisotope or radiopharmaceutical medication, such as thallium or sestamibi, is injected through the IV. The radioactive material marks your blood flow and is picked up by the gamma camera. The test includes an exercise and resting portion, and your heart is photographed during both.
This is a three part test:
  • A set of pictures when your heart is at rest,
  • A stress test,
  • A second set of pictures after your heart has been stressed.
  • This procedure can last from 2 to 4 hours depending on how long your body takes to clear the isotopes.
What is a thallium scan or a cardiolite scan? A thallium (or cardiolite) scan uses a radioactive tracer to see how much blood is reaching different parts of your heart. These tests are the more common forms of tests called nuclear medicine scans.
Stress tests can detect when arteries have 70% or more blockage. This severe narrowing is what causes the severe chest pain called angina. But normal results from a stress test do not rule out the possibility of a future heart attack.
You may need a nuclear stress test if you have signs or symptoms of heart disease such as chest pain or shortness of breath. A nuclear stress test may also be used to guide your treatment if you've been diagnosed with a heart condition.
While you are walking on the treadmill, a second small amount of Myoview is administered. Following the treadmill test, there is another waiting period followed by a second imaging scan. If you are an outpatient, you will be permitted to drive after your test is completed.
The short answer is, nothing happens. It is fairly common for some people to not be able to exercise enough to get their heart to work hard enough. When this happens, it is impossible for us to accurately assess the patients' functional capacity.
Do not eat chocolate or drink coffee, tea, soda, colas or other caffeinated beverages such Mountain Dew or energy drinks. If you are unsure, do not drink it.
There are no side effects from the radioactive tracer. It is not a contrast dye. It does not contain iodine and will not harm your kidneys. Nuclear stress testing, is very safe and can help your cardiologist accurately diagnosis heart disease.
You are also given medicine (local anesthetic) to numb your throat. This helps you feel more comfortable during the procedure. An exercise stress test measures how your heart deals with the stress of physical activity. You are connected by wires to an ECG monitor.
Tell your care team if you are uncomfortable or if you are having trouble breathing. The exercise and stress test portion of the test should also be painless. Tell your care team immediately if you have chest pain or any other discomfort during or after your test.
The nuclear imaging agent is out of your system within 60 hours, but it is always decaying so it becomes minimal in a relatively short period of time.
Stress tests are often a doctor's first-line diagnostic tool to confirm or rule out heart disease. They can help your doctor begin mapping your course of treatment – which could include more tests to establish the extent of your condition. There's really no reason for an exercise stress test itself to worry you.
The test can show the size of the heart's chambers, how well the heart is pumping blood, and whether the heart has any damaged or dead muscle. Nuclear stress tests can also give doctors information about your arteries and whether they might be narrowed or blocked because of coronary artery disease.
A stress test usually involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike, under supervision, during which the heart rhythm and rate, blood pressure, and breathing are continuously monitored.


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