Cardiolite Treadmill Stress Test
What Is A Cardiolite Test?
- A Cardiolite Treadmill stress test is similar to a
standard treadmill stress test, but provides the doctor with additional
information by using an isotope (Cardiolite) to evaluate coronary blood flow.
- This test is performed in two phases with each phase
lasting 30-60 minutes. The patient may be required to return the following day
to complete the second phase.
- An intravenous (IV) line will be started in order to
inject a very small dose of the isotope at the peak of exercise. The isotope
is not harmful to the patient or the heart. Please see the
Nuclear Medicine explanation for other
- Electrodes are placed on the chest to record an
electrocardiogram (EKG) which monitors the electrical activity of the heart.
- The testing physician will have the patient exercise on
the treadmill, gradually increasing the speed and incline. This may last for
up to 15 minutes depending upon the patient's level of ability.
- During the exercise part of the test, the testing
physician will be looking for changes in the EKG pattern and any symptoms that
the patient may experience.
- The test will be stopped if the patient becomes too
tired, has any symptoms such as chest pain, or when the doctor feels he has
gathered the information he needs.
- After the exercise part of the test is completed, a
special camera will take pictures of the heart. This usually lasts 20-40
minutes. The patient will lie flat with both arms above his head. A second set
of pictures will be required at a later time.
- These pictures help to show the specific area(s) of
the heart that is not getting enough blood and oxygen.
- The second set of pictures are taken at rest to help
evaluate which area(s) of the heart has recovered but is still not getting
enough blood and oxygen. An area that has not recovered may indicate scar
tissue from a heart attack.
Why Is A Nuclear Medicine Stress Test Done?
- This test will give the doctor the same information as
a standard treadmill stress test, plus the following:
- Which area(s) of the heart is not getting enough
blood and oxygen
- How quickly the heart recovers after exercise
- Any irregular heart rhythms
- If the patient has had a heart attack in the past.
What Preparation Is Needed?
- Nothing to eat or drink except water four hours prior
to the test.
- Do not smoke at least four hours prior to the test.
- It is important for the patient to ask his doctor:
- How to adjust his insulin and food intake prior to
the test if he is diabetic
- If he should take his regular medications the morning
of the test
- If he is on a Beta Blocker, can he stop taking this
medication 24 hours before the test as this is recommended for best results
- To check for a list of medications, Click here
- Do not apply any lotions, oils or powders to the chest
- Wear comfortable clothing (shorts or pants with shirt
or blouse) and walking or athletic shoes.
- Make sure your bring your requisition that was given to
you (unless faxed prior)
- Plan to arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled time of the
test and first check in at the information desk in the main lobby in order to
- Once registered, go directly to the Cardiopulmonary Department which is
located on the second floor.
- Please call (540)636-0280 if questions.
Unless otherwise noted: this document was originated by, reviewed and/or edited by Tripp Bradd, MD
current revision/review: 8/26/2008