A myocardial perfusion SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) study, also called a cardiac stress-rest test, is used to evaluate the heart's blood supply. Two sets of images showing blood flow are obtained: the first following a period of rest, and the second following a period of stress, which involves exercise on a treadmill.
The technologist injects a radiotracer into a vein. A radiotracer is a compound made of a radioactive isotope and a pharmaceutical agent. In the radiotracer used for myocardial perfusion SPECT, the pharmaceutical part keeps the tracer in the blood until it is filtered out by the kidneys. The radioactive isotope releases energy, and a special camera creates an image from it.
Myocardial perfusion SPECT is used to evaluate damage that might have been caused by a myocardial infarction (heart attack) and to assess the presence and extent of myocardial ischemia (reduced blood flow due to obstruction in the vessels).
Preparation Instructions for Stress Test
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