EKG

  • Exercise Stress / Treadmill EKG
  • A stress EKG (Electrocardiogram) is commonly used to measure how well the heart performs during exercise or a chemically induced state, particularly in patients with symptoms of chest pain or who are at risk for coronary artery disease. Exercise stress tests may also be referred to as stress tests, exercise EKGs, or treadmill tests.

    • What to expect during the test
    • You will walk on a treadmill while an EKG measures your heart activity. Every 3 minutes, the treadmill will slowly increase in speed and elevation. The test will end when you reach a predicted heart rate or when you need to stop.

    • Preparation
      • Wear comfortable clothes & walking shoes
      • Do not eat or drink anything except water after midnight the night before your test.
      • Have no caffeine, including chocolate, for 24 hours prior to test.
      • Bring a list of your current medications.
      • Take blood pressure medicine as usual unless instructed otherwise by your physician.
      • For diabetics only, take 1/2 insulin dose and eat a light breakfast. 

    • Chemical Stress Test
      • A chemical (Lexiscan) agent is used to dilate blood vessels to simulate exercise. This test is used when patients are unable to perform more than moderate exercise due to weakness, injury or other situations.

      • What to expect during the test
      • An I.V. will be started in your arm, and you will be connected to an EKG machine. Lexiscan agent and a radiological tracer will be given via an IV, during which time you may feel warm, experience a mild headache or tightness in your chest. These effects are normal and typically go away soon after the test. The radiological isotope or tracer allows for visualization of the heart and vessels via nuclear medicine imaging (see below). The nuclear medicine camera will take two sets of images 2 hours apart: a resting set and a stress set. Each image set takes approximately 15 minutes. The entire test lasts approximately 4 hours.

      • Preparation
        • If you think you may be pregnant, please discuss with your physician prior to scheduling and please inform the technologist.
        • Follow Prep for exercise stress test.
        • Do not take any medications containing Aminophylline, Theophylline or dipyridamole 24 hours prior to test.


    Nuclear Cardiology

    Nuclear cardiology uses very small amounts of radioactive isotopes, or radiopharmaceuticals, injected into patient via IV, to produce images to evaluate cardiac blood flow and function.

    • Myocardioal Perfusion Scan
      • This nuclear stress test uses either a cardiolite or myoview tracer to evaluate coronary arteries, which supply oxygen to the heart muscle, and the integrity of the heart muscle.

      • What to expect during the test
      • The test will take approximately 4 hours from start to finish. You will be given a small amount of a radiopharmaceutical via I.V. After 30 minutes, you will be placed on the nuclear medicine machine with a camera slowly moving around your chest taking pictures of your heart. This is the resting portion of the test. After a waiting period, you will walk on a treadmill for the stress portion of the test while being monitored by an EKG. During the exercise you will be given another injection of the radiopharmaceutical. After an hour, a 2nd set of pictures will be taken of your heart.

      • Preparation
        • If you are pregnant, or think you might be, please inform the technologist.
        • Follow prep instructions for exercise EKG test or pharmacological stress test as specified by your physician.

    • MUGA Scan
      • A MUGA (multi-gated acquisition) scan produces a moving image of the beating heart, allowing cardiac ventricles (pumping chambers) and overall heart health to be assessed.

      • What to expect during the test
      • You will be given two injections approximately 20 minutes apart that includes a small amount of radioactive tracer. The nuclear medicine camera will take three images of your heart from different angles. Each image takes 10 minutes. Additionally, you will be monitored by EKG. It is important to remain still during the imaging.

      • Preparation
        • If you are pregnant, or think you might be, please inform the technologist.