Heart SPECT Imaging Studies

This test uses a radioactive substance to create images of blood flow to the heart muscle and diagnose problems with the heart and coronary arteries.




This test uses a radioactive substance to create images of blood flow to the heart muscle and diagnose problems with the heart and coronary arteries.



Myocardial perfusion imaging uses a radioactive substance (tracer) to create detailed images of blood flow to the heart muscle and diagnose problems with the heart and coronary arteries. The images can show the areas of your heat that are not receiving enough blood and not working as well as they should be.

  • This test can determine what part of your heart has been damaged or is at risk for a heart attack.
  • It can also be used to monitor someone with a prior history of heart disease.

Myocardial perfusion imaging is usually done along with an exercise stress test to determine how your heart responds to physical stress. So that appropriate precautions are taken, be sure to tell the technician if you are pregnant, could be pregnant or are breast-feeding.

  • Do not eat or drink for at least four hours before the test. You should avoid caffeine and smoking for 48 hours before the test.
  • Some medications may interfere with the test. Ask your healthcare provider if you should take your usual medicines on the day of the test.
  • You will exercise on a treadmill or exercise bicycle, so wear comfortable clothing and shoes. If you have health problems that prevent you from exercising, you can be given a medicine that mimics the effects of exercise.
  • The tracer (radioactive substance) will be injected into a vein in your arm. Images will be taken before and after you exercise.
  • Small electrodes will be placed on your chest, arms and legs. Your heart's electrical activity and your blood pressure will be closely watched.
  • You must be very still during the exam because moving could blur the images.

The costs for this test include the charge for the test (facility charge) and physician charges (for performing or interpreting the test). You may get separate bills from the facility and the physician's office.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having this test?

  • Is there any special preparation for the test? (If so, get clear instructions on what you need to do.)
  • Why are you ordering this test? Will the test results change my treatment plan? If not, do I need the test?
  • Are there any special precautions I need to take after the test? Do I need to avoid flying or close contact with children and pregnant women because of the radioactive substance?

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

X-ray
Myocardial Perfusion Study
Heart SPECT Imaging Studies
Heart Perfusion Study
Heart Muscle Damage
Cardiac Perfusion Scan


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