WHAT IS THE PURPOSE
OF A CARDIOLITE STRESS TEST? This
test is a diagnostic exam used to evaluate your level of fitness, your heart
rate and blood pressure response to activity. In addition to the exercise
portion of the test, the imaging portion (pictures) will assess for the
presence or absence of coronary artery disease.
WHAT IS CARDIOLITE? Cardiolite is a radioactive
tracer. It contains no iodine! The radiation that you will receive is
comparable to a standard chest X-ray.
HOW LONG WILL THE TEST TAKE? This test will take approximately
WHO WILL ADMINISTERS THE TEST?
The test will be administered by a
nuclear technologist and an
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR
- We prefer that you do not have
caffeine or nicotine 12 hours prior to the test; this increases the sensitivity of the test.
The test CAN still be done if you have either caffeine or nicotine.
- You may want to bring something to read.
- Bring a list of your current medications, including dosage & frequency.
Take your medications at your usual time, unless your physician indicates
- It is recommended that you
eat a light meal one hour prior to your arrival. If you are a diabetic, you
may also bring a low-fat snack or fruit juice if necessary.
- Please wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing and shoes for your stress test. T-shirts or cotton tops and slacks or shorts are preferred and shoes should be appropriate for brisk exercise on a treadmill or a bicycle.
Slacks or shorts
are preferred and shoes should be appropriate for brisk exercise on a
treadmill or a bicycle.
WHAT WILL I EXPERIENCE
DURING THE CARDIOLITE STRESS TEST?
- Prior to the test you will be
asked to complete a
questionnaire. You will also be asked to read and sign a consent form. This
form provides information regarding the benefits and risks of the stress
test. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions that you may have.
- Women less than 50 years of age will be required to sign a Non-Pregnancy
statement prior to the start of the test. Nursing mothers will be asked to
temporarily discontinue nursing after the test; for these women, special
instructions will be given on the day of the test.
- For the resting portion of the
test an injection of Cardiolite will be administered into your vein.
Approximately 45 minutes to one hour later, you will be asked to lie on your
back with your arms above your head while the Nuclear Technologist takes
images of your heart. These images will take about 15 to 20 minutes.
- For the stress portion of your test, you
will be connected to a monitor so that your heart rate and rhythm can be
watched closely throughout the test. You will then exercise by walking on a
treadmill or pedaling a stationary cycle. The exercise will start out
slowly and then gradually increase in speed and / or resistance. Your heart
rate and blood pressure will gradually rise. This is normal and both will
be monitored along with your EKG.
the exercise, if you experience any unusual symptoms (such as chest pain or
shortness of breath) immediately tell the Exercise Physiologist monitoring
the test. Once you have reached a maximal effort level, the Nuclear
Technologist will inject the Cardiolite into a venous access site when you
are at maximum exercise. One minute after the dose of Cardiolite has been
given, the treadmill (or bike) will stop and you will be asked to lie down.
You will then be monitored after the stress test until your heart rate,
blood pressure and EKG return to resting levels.
- After the exercise portion of the test is done, the venous access site
will be removed. After waiting, you will once again be asked to lie down
on your back with your arms above your head for another set of pictures,
which will take about 13 to 17 minutes. Results will be mailed to you in
approximately 2 weeks unless your doctor sees you in the office for a visit.
Remember, cardiolite is a radioactive tracer. It contains no iodine! The
radiation that you will receive is comparable to a standard chest X-ray.