- Cardiolyte Stress Test
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Cardiolyte Stress Test
What is a Cardiolyte Stress Test?
A cardiolyte stress test helps your doctor determine if areas of the heart are not receiving enough blood. The test is done in two parts, allowing the doctor to compare how much blood flows throughout the heart muscle during stress (exercise performed on the treadmill) and at rest:
During the first part, several electrodes will be placed on your chest and an intravenous line will be placed in your arm. Your heart rate, rhythm and blood pressure will be closely monitored throughout the test. You will walk on the treadmill as long as you can. It will start out very slow and gradually increase speed and elevation every 3 minutes. You will be given an injection of cardiolyte, a nuclear isotope, just before you finish your exercise. This isotope involves a small amount of radioactive material, which is cleared from your body by natural processes. The amount of radiation you will be exposed to is comparable to that of an x-ray. Following the exercise, you will have a scan of your heart. This part of the test takes about 90 minutes, including the exercise.
The second part of the test will take place the next day. You will return to the Heart and Lung Center for more "pictures" of your heart. You will again be given an injection of a small amount of cardiolyte. After waiting approximately one hour, you will have a scan of your heart, just like on the previous day.
What can I expect before the test?
You will be asked to not eat or drink anything after midnight before the first part of the test.
You may have a light breakfast on the second day of the test.
You must avoid any foods, drinks, or medicines that contain caffeine for at least two days (48 hours) before the test.
Food and drinks that may contain caffeine are:
- All forms of coffee (including caffeinated and decaffeinated)
- All forms of tea (including caffeinated and decaffeinated)
- All drinks and foods containing chocolate
- All cola drinks including but not limited to: Jolt, Mountain Dew, Mellow Yellow, Orange Crush, Root Beer, Tab, Coke, Pepsi, Cola
Some medications that contain caffeine and should be avoided:
- Cafegot, Darvon, Fiorinal, Synalgoa, Wigraine, Anacin, Excedrin, NoDoz
You must not take any beta-blocker medication for 48 hours before the test. (If you are not sure whether or not you take beta-blocker medication, you should contact your doctor or pharmacist.)
Some medications that are beta-blockers include: (this is not a complete list)
- Beta Paste
You should let us know if you do not think that you will be able to walk on the treadmill.
Please bring a current list of medications with you to the test.
You will need to wear loose, comfortable clothing. You should wear sneakers or comfortable rubber soled walking shoes for the treadmill test.
Please consult you doctor if any of this is a concern for you.
What can I expect during the test?
The doctor and two technologists will be with you during the test.
You will exercise by walking on a moving belt on the treadmill.
If you experience any unusual symptoms at any time, immediately tell the doctor or the technologist monitoring the test. Adjustments will be made to the exercise test, depending on your symptoms, blood pressure, ECG or degree of fatigue.
What can I expect after the test?
Your doctor will talk to you about the results.