Myocardial perfusion scanning


A myocardial perfusion scan looks at blood flow patterns to the walls of the heart both during exercise and at rest

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The Harley Street Clinic

The Harley Street Clinic

35 Weymouth Street W1G 8BJ London
London Bridge Hospital

London Bridge Hospital

27 Tooley Street SE1 2PR London
The Wellington Hospital

The Wellington Hospital

8A Wellington Place NW8 9LE London

What is myocardial perfusion scanning?

This test is used to diagnose coronary heart disease and evaluate the extent of the disease where its presence is already known.

It is also used to analyse injury to the heart following a heart attack. By scanning the heart during exercise and at rest, it detects any reduction to the blood supply to the heart wall.

Need to know

You'll have two scans, one during exercise and one at rest. Firstly, you'll be asked to exercise on a treadmill or exercise bike. Once you're exercising, you'll be given a small injection of isotope. If you can't exercise, we may be able to use a short-acting intravenous drug, which increases your heart rate, simulating exercise.

A large camera will be placed close to your chest. It will detect rays sent out by the isotope and take pictures. After an hour, you'll have another scan. You'll be given another small amount of isotope and the camera is used again. During the test, your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored.

Like most tests and procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you and let you know how to prepare. You may be asked to avoid caffeine and certain medications before your test.
Your scan results will be compared to see if there is a difference in the blood supply to the heart when you're resting and exercising. The test itself is painless, but you may feel a little tired afterwards.