Other Stress Tests:
Stress Echo

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What Is IV Persantine-Thallium Stress Test?
A stress echo test gathers data about your heart both at rest and when it is responding to the stress of increased heart rate and blood pressure. If you are unable to exercise, a drug (Persantine and Thallium) will be slowly introduced into your bloodstream through an intravenous line in your arm. It will make your heart pound, causing it to work as if you were exercising.

This procedure provides us with information about your cardiac system, including:
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Decreased supply of blood and oxygen to the heart
  • Amount of time it takes the heart to recover after exercise

What Preparation Is Needed?
Please follow these precautions before coming to a Stress Echo Test:
  • Do not eat or drink anything except water four hours prior to test.

  • No caffeine or smoking at least 4 hours prior to test.

  • If you are taking any medications, please consult us about the following:
    • How to adjust insulin and food intake prior to the test.

    • Whether to take your regular medications the morning of the test.

    • If you are taking Beta Blockers, ask us whether you can stop the medication for 72 hours before coming to a procedure (as recommended).

  • If you are taking aminophylline or theodur, you must discontinue it for 48-72 hours prior to the test.

  • You must notify us if
    • You are allergic to Theophylline or Persantine.

    • You have asthma, chronic lung disease or any heart conditions.

  • Do not apply lotions, oils or powders to the chest area.

  • Wear comfortable clothing (shorts or pants with shirt or blouse) and walking or jogging shoes.

How IV Persantine-Thallium Stress Test Is Performed?
This test is a an alternative procedure for patients with coronary artery disease who can not exercise on a treadmill. If you have to undergo this test, you can expect the following:
  1. An IV line is started to administer the persantine and the thallium.

  2. Persantine helps to expand the coronary arteries increasing the blood flow to the area. This effect is similar to what happens during vigorous exercise.

  3. Thallium (a radioactive isotope) is detected by X-rays and shows which parts of the heart muscle are receiving enough oxygen.

  4. Electrodes will be placed on the chest so that the heart rate and rhythm will be monitored by an electrocardiogram.

  5. A special camera takes pictures of the heart.

  6. This test is usually administered in 2 phases with each phase lasting 30-60 minutes.

  7. You may be required to return the following day to complete the second phase.

Risk Factors
Side effects of thallium are rare and may include:
  • rashes
  • low blood pressure
Possible temporary side effects of Persantine may include:
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea/vomiting
  • chest discomfort
Other rare risks involve:
  • A metallic taste may appear in your mouth for a brief period after the tracer is injected.

  • Because these tests stress the heart, chest pain is a common experience during the test.

  • There is a very small risk of heart attack as a result of the stress to your heart.

  • A minimal amount of radiation exposure is experienced during the procedure. The exposure is about the same as that of a CT scan or a Barium X-ray. The radioactive tracer is safe.

  • Nuclear Medicine Test is not used if you are pregnant (or you think you might be) or if you are a nursing mother. Be sure to notify us prior to the test if this is the case.

Useful Links
  1. IV Persantine-Thallium Testing
    If you are interested in learning more about this particular type of stress test, be sure to read this article. It is well-written, well-organized guide that helps patients understand why they need the test, how it works, what happens during the test, etc.

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