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Myocardial Perfusion Imaging
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Myocardial Perfusion Imaging?

Myocardial perfusion imaging is a test that uses a low dose of a radioactive agent to evaluate the blood flow and function of the heart. Since blood flow to the heart is best tested when you increase the work of the heart, this test is usually done with exercise. If you cannot exercise, your doctor may use a drug that increases the work of your heart to mimic exercise.

Blood Flow Through the Heart
Blood Flow Through the Heart
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Myocardial perfusion imaging is used to look for previous damage to your heart and your risk of future heart damage.

Some specific reasons to do the test include:

  • Determine if you are at risk for a heart attack
  • See if you need coronary angiography , angioplasty , or heart surgery
  • See which areas of the heart muscle have poor blood supply
  • Provide information about the heart’s pumping ability
  • See the amount of scarring that occurred from a heart attack
  • Check the success of angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery

Call Your Doctor

After the test, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Your symptoms continue or worsen
  • You develop any new symptoms
  • You continue to experience side effects from the medicines used

In case of emergency, CALL 911.