Why did my doctor order a Cardiolite stress test?
What preparations will I need to make?
How is the test administered?
How long will the procedure last?
What will the recovery be like?
What happens after the test?
Will my insurance cover this?
Who should I contact with questions about this test?
1. Why did my doctor order a Cardiolite stress test?
Your doctor asked you to have a Cardolite stress test to determine if exercise causes decreased blood flow to your heart muscle, a condition called "reversible ischemia". If this is the case, we can determine if your blood flow improves with rest.
2. What preparations will I need to make?
You should avoid caffeinated beverages and fast for three hours before the test. You should wear loose-fitting pants and comfortable tennis shoes.
3. How is the test administered?
When you arrive at the medical center, you will be asked to undress down to the waist. An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted into your hand. You will then have a scan, which will take 20 minutes. For this test, you will lie down with your arms above your head (this position allows for better viewing of your heart.) Electrocardiogram (EKG) wires will then be hooked up to your chest. You will be asked to walk on a treadmill until you experience symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath, or until you are too tired to continue walking. A doctor and a technician will be present throughout the entire test and will be monitoring your blood pressure and EKG continuously.
Approximately one minute before you stop walking on the treadmill, you need to let the technician know so that the Cardiolite can be injected. Cardiolite is an isotope that is "taken up" by the heart. It flows more easily through non-diseased arteries. The Cardiolite enables blood flow to be seen on a camera. You will be lying on a table with a scanner overhead that will take pictures of your heart.
If you are unable to walk on the treadmill, one of two different drugs may be used to exercise your heart. These are Dobutamine or Persatine. In this case, the test is the same, except that the drugs are injected over a specific period of time, and you are not required to walk on the treadmill.
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4. How long will the procedure last?
The entire procedure will take approximately three hours.
5. What will the recovery be like?
There is no real recovery period. You will be free to leave when the test is finished.
6. What happens after the test?
A few days after the test, you will speak to your doctor to discuss the results.
7. Will my insurance cover this?
Depending on the type of coverage, most commercial insurance carriers will pay the major share of the cost. You should always consult your insurance company to determine proper coverage.
8. Who should I contact with questions about this test?
Feel free to consult your doctor.
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