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persantine cardiolite stress test

dobutamine cardiolite stress testpersantine cardiolite stress test

What is a persantine cardiolite stress test?

This stress test gives your doctor an accurate evaluation of the condition of your heart. The persantine is given to expand the coronary arteries. The cardiolite is a radioactive isotope that allows images of the arteries to be taken.

Why do I need it?

The persantine cardiolite stress test will help your physician determine whether your coronary arteries have become narrowed or blocked as a result of coronary artery disease. Results from the test will assist your doctor in selecting the best course of treatment.

How do I prepare for the test?

  • Be sure to tell the doctor administering the test if you have asthma or chronic lung disease.
  • If you are taking any medicine for asthma, such as theophylline or aminophylline, be sure to consult with your doctor. Some doctors recommend that you stop taking these medicines for 36-48 hours before the test.
  • Do not use nicotine products or consume caffeine for 24 hours prior to the test.
  • Do not eat for 4 hours before the test. Diabetics may have clear liquid.
  • Wear a comfortable two-piece outfit.
  • Continue taking your medications with sips of water.
  • Bring your doctor's order or referral with you.
  • Bring a list of your medications with you.

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What will happen on the day of my test?

The most important thing to remember while undergoing a persantine cardiolite stress test is that the cardiologist performing the test is also there to answer any questions you may have. A registered nurse and a nuclear medicine technologist will also be present.

For your safety during the test, the cardiologist and technologist will monitor your heart using a machine called an electrocardiograph. Electrodes connected to the electrocardiograph machine will be placed on your chest to deliver information on your heart.

The persantine cardiolite stress test will take pictures of your heart both at rest and after receiving the persantine. Here's how it works:

  • The entire exam takes approximately 4 hours to complete.
  • An intravenous line (IV) will be placed in your arm. Persantine and cardiolite will be given directly through the IV line. When the test is over, the IV line will be removed.
  • Once the IV line is in place, the cardiolite will be injected and you will be asked to sit in the waiting room for approximately 20 to 40 minutes. You will then be escorted to the camera area and asked to lie on a table with your left arm over your head. A camera will rotate around your chest to scan your heart. This special camera takes images of the cardiolite as it is carried to your heart through the coronary arteries. These are called resting pictures and will be taken first.
  • After the resting pictures are done, the persantine will be administered over a four-minute period. The persantine is given to expand (dilate) the coronary arteries. If you experience any unusual sensations during or following the test, it is important to report them to the doctor.
  • The nuclear medicine technologist will then administer a second dose of cardiolite. After a short recovery period, you will be asked to wait approximately 60 minutes for the cardiolite to circulate in your body. You may eat a light snack at this time, but no caffeine or nicotine. You will then go back to camera area for a second set of pictures, called the stress pictures.

By comparing the second set of pictures with those taken earlier, the doctor will be able to evaluate your condition. Test results will be mailed to your physician within 5 to 7 work days.

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Reducing your risk for heart disease

  • Don't smoke
  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly
  • Reduce your intake of fats and cholesterol
  • Maintain your ideal weight
  • Exercise regularly according to your physician's guidelines


Our goal is to provide you with excellent care. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:
Janet Duval, RN, BSN
Manager, Non-invasive Cardiovascular Diagnostics

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