Lexiscan Nuclear Stress Test

What is a Lexiscan Nuclear Stress Test?

A Lexiscan Nuclear Stress Test combines a pharmaceutical agent, Lexiscan, and monitoring with an imaging series that can look and measure the blood flow to the heart. The ultimate goal of the test is to see if your heart receives enough blood from its own arteries when the heart is required to work harder.

What will happen during the test?

The nuclear stress test allows your physician to view images of your heart while at rest and at stress. To minimize the number of needle sticks required for the test an intravenous line (IV) will be placed on your arm or hand prior to your first Cardiolite injection and will be used later for your second Cardiolite injection.

Following the first injection you will then lie on a table and an initial or “resting” scan will be performed by the gamma camera. You will be asked to place your arms over your head. The gamma camera will be placed over your heart and images will be recorded. This process takes approximately 30 minutes. This portion of the test is called the “rest study.”

After your “resting scan” our trained staff will place EKG electrodes on your chest that will constantly monitor your heart during the “stress study”. Your heart will be stressed through injection of a pharmacological agent, Lexiscan. The actual physical stress portion of the test takes 15 seconds to 1 ½ minutes. After injection of Lexiscan a second injection Cardiolite will be administered. This radiopharmaceutical is absorbed by the heart muscle and can be visualized by the gamma camera in the same manner as the “rest study”. The imaging portion of your stress test will take another 30 minutes.

Sometimes the test is scheduled over 2 days with the stress portion of the test on day one and the resting portion of the test on day two.

Normal responses during the Lexiscan stress test include a warm flushed feeling, feeling tired, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness and nausea. You should inform our staff or physician if you feel chest, arm or jaw discomfort or any symptoms during the test. The supervising practitioner and staff will change or stop the test early if it is unsafe for you to continue.

The results of the test will be reviewed with you at a later scheduled appointment.