How to prepare for stress myocardial perfusion imaging

How to prepare for stress myocardial perfusion imaging (SMPI)?

Patients should be informed that the test takes approximately one half day and consists of two parts: a resting part and a stress part. The placement of an intravenous catheter (usually inserted at the beginning of the study) is required to administer the radiotracer. The order of the study can be either rest-stress or stress-rest, although the higher dose is given for the second scan, and the stress test is often performed second to provide the best image quality. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) or positron emission tomography (PET) scans are obtained approximately 30 to 60 minutes after radiotracer administration, and each scan takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes. The patient should not eat or drink (except water) from midnight before the examination. Patients are commonly asked to stop taking their medications unless there is some reason (e.g., very high blood pressure or serious dysrhythmias) that requires the stress test to be performed while the patient continues to take medications.


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