Pharmacological Nuclear Stress Test
What is an Pharmacologic Nuclear Stress Test?
Regadenoson, otherwise known as Lexiscan, is a medicine that causes blood vessels to expand, especially those in the heart. In this way it acts like exercise. This medicine is used for patients who cannot use a treadmill but need a stress test. It is always used together with a radioisotope to make a blood flow image of the heart (see Nuclear Stress Test).
What can I expect the day of my test?
- No food for 4 hours prior to the test
- No caffeine (coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, etc.) for 24 hours prior to the test (caffeine causes the regadenoson not to work)
- An intravenous catheter (a small tube) will be placed in a vein on your arm
- The radioisotope will be injected at rest
- After approximately 45-60 minutes, a scan will be done of your heart (most often this will be done with you lying on your back with arms over your head under a detection camera, occasionally it is done sitting in a special chair), the scan lasts 15 to 30 minutes.
- Following the scan adhesive patches will be placed on your skin to monitor your electrocardiogram
- While lying supine the Regadenoson will be injected through the intravenous catheter for 4 minutes
- 2 minutes after Regadenoson is begun the radioisotope will be injected
- You may be asked to bend your arm up and down during the regadenoson
- You may feel flushed or have shortness of breath, chest discomfort or a headache, these feelings stop 30 seconds after the regadenoson is stopped
- In 30-60 minutes, you will have the scan performed again post “exercise.” During this time, you will be asked to eat something and will be provided a small snack. Eating helps improve the images.
- Expect to be at the testing location for 3 hours