GXT Stress Test

Your doctor has scheduled you to undergo a Treadmill Stress Test (GXT). People with heart disease commonly show normal results on heart tests performed under resting or relaxed conditions. However, when the heart is made to work harder the results can look abnormal. Performing exercise is the most common way to stress a person’s heart. When you arrive a medical assistant will explain the test and demonstrate how to walk on the treadmill. EKG electrodes and wires will be placed on your arm. A specially trained registered nurse, under the supervision of an in-office physician, will monitor your blood pressure and EKG during the test. Exercise will begin slowly and increase gradually every 3 minutes. The test may be terminated at the discretion of the nurse when:

  • the desired level of stress is reached.
  • you are fatigued and cannot continue.
  • you develop symptoms and need to stop.
  • certain heart abnormalities are detected.

There will be a brief "recovery period" after you exercise. You will then be disconnected from the monitoring equipment. The approximate time for this test is 60 minutes.

The preparation for this test is as follows:

  • Nothing to eat or drink at least 4 hours prior to this test.
  • No lotions, oils, or powders to the chest area.
  • Bring your medicines with you.
  • Arrive 10 minutes early.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothes (ladies please wear slacks).
  • Take normal medicines at regular time with a small amount of water.
  • DIABETICS SHOULD ADJUST DIABETIC MEDICINES FOR MISSED MEALS.

ISOTOPE STRESS TEST

Your doctor has scheduled you to undergo an Isotope Stress Test. The purpose of this test is to assess the adequacy of blood flow through the coronary arteries of the heart muscle. When you arrive an IV will be started and 2 sets of images will be made of your heart. The first set of images will be made after an isotope is injected through your IV. These are called resting images. The images are made while you lie on a table and a gamma camera rotates around your chest taking pictures of your heart. After the rest images, EKG electrodes and wires will be placed on your chest and a blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm. A medical assistant will explain the test to you and demonstrate how to walk on the treadmill. A specially trained professional, under the supervision of an in-office physician, will monitor your EKG and blood pressure every 3 minutes. One minute before peak exercise capacity another isotope will be injected. After a short “recovery period” your IV will be removed and you will be required to eat a fatty meal. Fatty foods help clear the isotope from your liver and gallbladder. After eating, a second set of pictures will be made. These are the stress images. The total time required for this test is 3 to 4 hours.

The preparation for this test is as follows:

  • Nothing to eat or drink at least 4 hours prior to the test
  • NO CAFFEINE (OR DECAFFEINATED) 16 HOURS PRIOR TO TEST (NO CHOCOLATE, TEA, SODA, CERTAIN OTC MEDS, COFFEE, ETC.)
  • No potassium containing drinks
  • No lotions, oils, or powders to chest area.
  • Bring your medicines with you.
  • Arrive 10 minutes early.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothes (ladies wear slacks if possible)
  • Take normal medicines at regular time with small amounts of water
  • DIABETICS SHOULD ADJUST DIABETIC MEDICINES FOR MISSED MEALS.

PERSANTINE OR ADENOSCAN ISOTOPE STRESS TEST

Your doctor has scheduled you for a Persantine or Adenoscan Isotope Stress Test. This test is an alternative for patients who cannot exercise on the treadmill. The purpose of this test is to assess the adequacy of blood flow through the coronary arteries of the heart muscle. Persantine or Adenoscan helps to expand the coronary arteries and increase blood flow similar to what happens during vigorous exercise. Possible temporary side effects of Persantine or Adenoscan include: headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, and chest discomfort. When you arrive an IV will be started and 2 sets of images will be made of your heart. The first set of images will be made after an isotope is injected through your IV. These are called resting images. The images are made while you lie on a table and a gamma camera rotates around your chest taking pictures of your heart. After the resting images, EKG electrodes and wires will be placed on your chest and a blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm. A medical assistant will explain the test to you. A specially trained professional, under the supervision of an in-office physician, will monitor your EKG and blood pressure while the Persantine/Adenoscan is slowly injected. After the Persantine or Adenoscan, another isotope will be injected. Your IV will be removed and you will be required to eat a fatty meal. Fatty foods help clear the isotope from the liver and gallbladder. After you eat, a second set of images will be made. These are the stress images. The total time required for this test is 3 to 4 hours.

The preparation for this test is as follows:

  • Nothing to eat or drink at least 4 hours prior to this test
  • No caffeine at least 16 hours prior to this test
  • No potassium containing drinks
  • No lotions, oils, or powders to the chest area
  • Bring your medicines with you
  • Arrive 10 minutes early
  • Wear comfortable clothes (ladies please wear slacks)
  • Take normal medicines at regular time with a small amount of water.
  • DO NOT TAKE THEO-DUR, THEOPHYLLINE, OR AMINOPHYLLINE 48 HOURS PRIOR TO TEST
  • DIABETICS SHOULD ADJUST DIABETIC MEDICINES FOR MISSED MEALS

DOBUTAMINE ISOTOPE STRESS TEST

Your doctor has scheduled you to undergo a Dobutamine Isotope Stress Test. This test is an alternative for patients who cannot exercise on a treadmill. The purpose of this test is to access the adequacy of blood flow through the coronary arteries of your heart muscle. Dobutamine is a drug that increases your heart similar to what happens during vigorous exercise. Possible temporary side effects of Dobutamine include palpitations, headache, flushing, and nausea. When you arrive an IV will be started and 2 sets of images will be made of your heart. The first set of images will be made after an isotope is injected through your IV. These are called resting images. The images are made while you lie on a table and a gamma camera rotates around your chest taking pictures of your heart. After the resting images, EKG electrodes and wires will be placed on your chest and a blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm. A medical assistant will explain the test to you. A specially trained professional, under the supervision of an in-office physician, will monitor your EKG and blood pressure. Dobutamine is injected through your IV to increase your heart rate. When your heart reaches the desired level another isotope will be injected. Your IV will be removed and you will be required to eat a fatty meal. Fatty foods help clear the isotope from the liver and gallbladder. After you eat, a second set of images will be made. These are the stress images. The total time required for this test is 3 to 4 hours.

The preparation for this test is as follows:

  • Nothing to eat or drink at least 4 hours prior to this test
  • No potassium containing drinks
  • No lotions, oils, or powders to the chest area
  • Bring your medicines with you
  • Arrive 10 minutes early
  • Take normal medicines at regular times with small amount of water
  • DIABETICS SHOULD ADJUST DIABETIC MEDICINES FOR MISSED MEALS

NUCLEAR MEDICINE RENAL SCAN

Your doctor has scheduled you to undergo a nuclear medicine renal scan. The purpose of this test is to evaluate whether or not a person’s high blood pressure is being caused by a blockage of the blood supply to the kidneys. When you arrive your blood pressure will be taken and an IV will be started. You will be given Captopril, a medicine that lowers blood pressure. Your blood pressure will be monitored every 15 minutes for an hour. You will then lie on a table and an isotope will be injected through your IV. A gamma camera will take pictures of your kidneys for 30 minutes. Your IV will then be removed. The total time required for this test is 90 minutes.

The preparation for this test is as follows:

  • No diuretics and no ACE inhibitors 3 days prior to test
  • No food 4 hours prior to test (you may drink fluids)
  • No potassium containing drinks
  • Bring your medicines with you
  • Arrive 10 minutes early

MUGA SCAN

Your doctor has scheduled you to undergo a gated cardiac scan (sometimes called a MUGA Scan). The purpose of this test is to assess the wall motion and the ejection fraction of your heart. This means that we will determine how vigorously your heart muscle works and how much blood is pumped each time your heart beats. When you arrive you will be given two injections approximately 30 minutes apart. EKG electrodes and wires will be placed on your chest during the test. You will then lie on the table while a gamma camera takes pictures of your heart. The total time required for this test is 90 minutes. There is no patient preparation for this test.


TREADMILL TESTING PRECAUTIONS

SEVERAL NUCLEAR TESTS REQUIRE THAT YOU WALK ON A TREADMILL. COMPLICATIONS RELATED TO TREADMILL TESTING ITSELF ARE VERY RARE BUT CAN INCLUDE SUCH THINGS AS PROLONGED CHEST PAIN, ABNORMAL HEART RHYTHM, FAINTING SPELLS, AND RARELY HEART ATTACKS. PATIENT DEATH RELATED TO SUCH PROCEDURES HAVE BEEN REPORTED BUT ARE EXTREMELY RARE. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE CONTACT YOUR PHYSICIAN.

 

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