Heart muscle scintigraphy

 

This examination provides information about cardiac functions and the severity of disorders affecting the blood supply of the heart muscle. In the form of an intravenous injection we administer a radioactive substance (technetium) into the circulation which gets to the heart muscle.

Usually the coronary heart diseases can only be diagnosed during straining, when the heart has to work harder than normally. To evoke this we use a medication that dilates coronary arteries and this way mimics physical endurance.

The medication used under straining may provoke chest pain, palpitation and perhaps arrhythmias and dyspnoe. That is why this examination always has to be performed under close medical supervision in order to keep the patient safe.

The examination is performed 45-60 minutes after straining and it lasts approximately 20 minutes.

If during straining we observe any abnormalities, we will also need the images from the test done at rest, which was performed on the resting heart muscle. After this we evaluate the results of the two tests together.

Diet: From the night (midnight) before the test patients are not allowed to eat anything and they can only drink some water. The day before the test patients should not drink any beverages containing caffeine (coffee, tea, coke) as caffeine may interfere with the effect of the drug used during the examination.

Medications: Certain medications may interfere with the test. If the patient takes any kind of drugs, the physician has to inform them 4-6 weeks (!) before the test about taking which medications has to be suspended temporarily.