What is an IV Persantine -- Thallium Stress Test?
This is an alternative type of stress test for patients who cannot walk on the treadmill for various reasons, either they have coronary artery disease (CAD) or they have a very difficult time walking on the treadmill.
Why is a Nuclear Medicine IV Persantine Stress Test Required?
This test gives the physician the same information as a standard treadmill stress test except for the fact that the patient can not walk on the treadmill due to the severity of their coronary artery disease (CAD) or they have great difficulty walking due to arthritis, etc. Persantine is a chemical that causes the heart to react as if the body is exercising; it expands or dilates the coronary arteries, increasing the amount of blood flow through the heart muscle, similar to what happens during exercise. This assists the physician in determining and evaluating cardiac conditions such as those related to:
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Areas of the heart that may not be getting adequate blood and oxygen
- How quickly the heart recovers from exercise
What is Involved in Preparation?
- Nothing to eat or drink the night before the test
- Do not smoke for at least 4 hours before the test
- Some important questions to ask your physician prior to the test are:
- If you are diabetic, how should you adjust your insulin/food intake the morning/day of the test?
- Should you take your regular medications the morning/day of the test?
- If you are on a Beta Blocker, should these be stopped 72 hours prior to the test for best results?
- Do not apply any lotions, powders, oils to the chest area
- Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing
What is Expected Once I Arrive For the Stress Test?
- The test will start in X-ray 2 hours before the actual treadmill part of the stress test where an EMT or RN will insert an IV in your hand; this is where the Persantine and Thallium will be injected. The Thallium consists of a very small amount of radioactive dye that shows any blockages when X-rays are taken later.
- A set of X-rays will then be taken to determine cardiac blood flow prior to the Persantine. You will lay flat on an X-ray table with your arms over your head while a special camera takes pictures of your heart. This can last upwards of 40 minutes. After these pictures are taken, you will be taken to the stress test lab.
- Once in the stress test lab, a Respiratory Therapist will place electrodes on your chest to obtain periodic EKG tracings before, during and after the stress test.
- The therapist will then place a blood pressure cuff on the upper arm to obtain periodic blood pressures before, during and after the stress test.
- An EKG will be taken while you are lying flat and sitting up. The physician and an EMT will then be called. The test will begin as the EMT runs the Persantine through the IV. There will always be a physician, EMT and therapist present for the entire test.
- While the Persantine is running, the Therapist and physician are monitoring your heart rate/rhythm and blood pressure. You may have some nausea or a headache develops, try not to worry, these are common side effects of the dilating properties of the Persantine.
- Once the Persantine is in, the X-ray tech will administer the Thallium. She will also ask you if there is anything she can get you to eat and drink when you get back to X-ray for the final set of pictures.
- A physician must order this test
- This test must be scheduled through Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics
- Bring the order with you and register either at the front desk or the registration desk between Lab and Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics
When Will I know the Results of the Stress Test?
Since the physician is in the room for the entire test, he/she will be able to give you the results of your test right away.