Exam: Exercise Myocardial Perfusion

Exercise Myocardial Perfusion Description

Duration: 4.5 hour(s)

Myocardial perfusion imaging is a “nuclear medicine” study for the coronary arteries. The radioactive isotope is injected through an intravenous (IV) line. An ECG is captured during the treadmill exercise stress test or the medication-induced stress test. A supervising cardiologist is always present during this examination.

The test comprises of three main parts:

  • An image with a gamma camera before the stress test
  • Treadmill or medication-induced stess test
  • Imaging after the stress test.

What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine is a type of diagnostic exam whereby images are acquired by tracking the distribution of radioactive material in the body.  The radioactive isotope is injected at the start of the test.  A Gamma camera is used to detect the rays emitted by the radioactive material.  Most of the radioactive isotopes injected into the patient’s body is eliminated via urine and the intensity of radioactivity diminishes over time.

An appointment is necessary for all Nuclear Medicine/Nuclear Cardiac examinations.


  1. No solid food 4 hours prior to appointment.
  2. No caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate, soft drinks, Tylenol 1-3) 24 hours prior to appointment.
  3. You should be off beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers 48 hours prior to appointment - in consultation with your referring physician.
  4. Wear/Bring something comfortable for the exercise test. (Running shoes and pants).
  5. Bring a list of all your current medications.