This is a one day test that is extremely useful to determine which parts of the heart are healthy and function normally and which are not.  A small amount of radioactive substance is injected into the patient, this is called a tracer.  Images are created when the camera detects the radioactive portion of the tracer moving through the heart.  Two sets of images are taken, one set at rest and the second after exercising.  Radiation received is comparable to that of an x-ray and will clear the body through natural processes.  The test usually takes between 4-6 hours.  Most of the time is spent waiting for the tracer to circulate through the body.  If a patient cannot exercise a medication will be used to produce similar results.


  • No food or drink four (4) hours prior to scheduled test time.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and rubber soled walking shoes.
  • No lotions, oils, or powders in the chest area.
  • No caffeine or de-caf products (soda, tea, coffee, chocolate, Excedrin, etc..) within 24 hours of the test time.  Decaffeinated products have a reduced amount of caffeine, but still have caffeine and, therefore are not allowed

A medical staff member will call and advice you IF there are medications that you cannot take prior to the test.  Please follow any instructions from the staff regarding medications.  If you are on a nitrate medication such as isosorbide, Isordil, Imdur or Nitro Patch, Do not take this medication on test day.  If you are on any Beta-Blocker you will be contacted three (3) days prior to your test in ordered to be tapered off this medication for the test date only. Once the test is completed you will resume your medications.  IT IS IMPORTANT OUR PHONE CALL IS RETURNED REGARDING INSTRUCTIONS.