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A Cardiolite Stress Test captures pictures of your heart muscle and blood flow while you exercise under controlled conditions. The test is useful in diagnosing coronary artery disease, find areas of a heart muscle that do not get enough blood supply, or show areas that have been damaged after a heart attack.  Cardiolite is an inert radioactive isotope that allows assessment of heart blood flow and heart strength.  It is gone after 24 hours and does not induce any allergic reactions, nor affect kidney function in any way.

Treadmill Stress Testing

A treadmill is used to increase the heart rate to a near maximal and comfortable level. The treadmill portion of the test lasts approximately 15 minutes.

Chemical Stress Testing (Lexiscan or Adenosine)

The Chemical stress test is used for patients that are unable to use the treadmill. The test involves a medication given through a vein in the arm that will stimulate exercise by causing the hear to beat stronger and faster (see medication list).

How Should I Prepare for the Test?

You must not eat, smoke (2) hours prior to test.

Do not drink any beverages containing caffeine or alcohol (24) hours before test:

  • No Coffee
  • No Decaf
  • No Chocolate
  • No Power Drinks
  • No Meds with Coffee

You should continue all medications unless instructed otherwise.

Wear comfortable shoes and loose clothing to allow exercise.

If you have diabetes and are taking insulin, ask caregivers if you need to change the amount of insulin that you are taking.

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

Tell your doctor if you are taking sildenafil citrate (Viagra) and have taken a dose within the past 24 hours. This is necessary because nitroglycerin, which is sometimes given during a stress test to relieve chest pain, should not be given to a person who has recently taken Viagra, since the combination can cause a serious drop in blood pressure.