Originally Posted by Pika
Would the persantine-thallium test same? Anyone had it before? Are they scary?
Not quite. There are two kinds of nuclear (MiBi, Thallium, all are the same in terms of the imaging using a scintillation camera and radioactive blood tracer) stress test.
One is the exercise nuclear stress test, where a Thallium (or like) dye is injected both before and after (actually, usuing during, at the end) of a regular ECG monitored exercise stress test on a treadmill.
The other type is where a chemical is used to increase the heart rate instead of exercise. Persantine is a medication that mimics the effects of adrenaline and increase heart rate. It can be quite precisely regulated so they can stop its effects quickly, but it means you won't be running on a treadmill to get your heart rate up.
Much of the duration of the nuclear imaging stress test is spent just waiting, while the dye is given time to circulate and perfuse through your heart muscle. A lot of the rest of the time is spent lying still on the camera bed while the scintillation camera takes it's 360 degrees series of images (actually, usually 180, since there are two cameras on opposite ends of a swing arm). I seem to remember a full series took something like 25-30 minutes, but it will depend on the particular equeipment being used.
Bring a book to read
The results can also get analysed in a number of ways. I know that the afternoon of my last nuclear imaging test, my cardiologist had gone over the basic results. But, he then asked the heart center techs to run the image date, along with the ECG data, through 3 different computer models, that gave predictions of degree of long term and short term recovery for the tissue that showed silent ischemia under stress. Those results weren't ready for another day or two. So sometimes, the availability of the final report depends what the first pass over the data indicates.