Myocardial Perfusion Imaging

Myocardial perfusion imaging is a test to look at the blood flow and function of the heart. It uses a low dose of a radioactive agent. Blood flow to the heart is best tested when your heart is working hard, so this test is usually done during exercise. If you cannot exercise, your doctor may use a drug to increase your heart's workload.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After the test, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • Your symptoms continue or worsen
    • You develop any new symptoms
    • You continue to experience side effects from the medicines used

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition


    Myocardial perfusion imaging is a test
    to look at the blood flow and function of the heart. It
    uses a low dose of a radioactive agent.
    Blood flow to the heart is best tested when your heart is working hard, so this test is usually done during
    exercise. If you cannot exercise, your doctor may use a drug
    to
    increase your heart's workload.

    Blood Flow Through the Heart
    Blood Flow Through the Heart
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Test


    Myocardial perfusion imaging is used to look for
    any damage to your heart. It may also help to determine your
    future
    risk of

    heart damage.




    Your doctor may recommend the
    test to:


    • Determine if you are at risk for a
      heart attack

    • See if you need
      coronary angiography,
      angioplasty, or heart surgery
    • See which areas of the heart muscle have poor blood supply
    • Provide information about the heart’s pumping ability
    • See the amount of scarring that occurred from a heart attack

    • Check the success of
      angioplasty
      or
      coronary bypass surgery

  • Possible Complications

    Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

    • Chest pain
    • Irregular heart rhythm
    • Radiation exposure
    • Heart attack (rare)

    During the test, technicians will be alert for any signs of heart or lung problems. They will be ready to take action if complications develop. Your doctor will be available during the test, as well.