Myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI), also known as MIBI scan or nuclear stress test, allows the assessment of the heart’s function and blood flow at rest or during exercise. It is a non-invasive test that is done by injecting a radioactive tracer, followed by taking images of the heart using a gamma camera. The findings from this test will help your doctor to plan if further treatment or surgery is needed for the heart condition.
Please stop medications, if any, on the day of the scheduled MPI scan, unless otherwise advised by your doctor.
If you were asked to stop your medications, please bring them along so that you can consume them after the test.
If you are unsure of which medications to stop, please refer to the list of heart medications below:
Food and Beverages
Please do not drink or consume any of the following 12 hours before the test, with the exception of plain water:
You may have a light meal before your test if you
do not have any blood tests scheduled on the same day.
Please wear (or bring along) exercise attire and comfortable shoes for exercising or walking on the treadmill. Lockers for patients are available for use.
For male patients, it may be necessary to shave your chest before the test for good electrocardiogram (ECG) electrodes placement. You may choose to shave on your own or request for a nurse to assist you.
Stress test and scan
This will take up to
three hours, inclusive of waiting time.
You will be required to exercise on the treadmill during which a small dose of radioactive tracer is injected through the vein on your hand.
If you are unable to exercise on the treadmill, an alternative method will be provided. Our doctor will inject a special medication to stress your heart while you walk slowly on the treadmill or lie down on a couch.
After the stress test, you will need to wait for 30 minutes to two hours before proceeding with the stress scan. Your reporting doctor will review the stress scan images and decide if a rest scan is required (on the same day or separate day). Please note that for appointments which are scheduled in the afternoon and require a continual test, the MPI test can only be completed on a separate day.
Optional rest scan
Depending on the doctor’s decision and your medical condition, a rest scan may be required after a stress scan. In certain circumstances, a rest scan may be performed before the stress test and scan.
No additional payment is required for the rest scan.
On the same day
The same-day rest scan is reserved for patients who have a doctor’s appointment within a week from their MPI scan appointment.
Patients who have the MPI scan appointment in the afternoon will be required to have the rest scan done on a separate day. The rest scan will start three hours after the first radiotracer injection which was given during the stress test. You can have your meal before the scan. A small dose of radioactive tracer will again be injected through the vein on your hand and the rest scan will be performed about one hour after the injection. You may be required to wait for more than one hour to allow the tracer to completely flow through the artery to the heart.
On a separate day
You will return on another day to have your rest scan done. There is no fasting or any diet restriction before this scan. The procedure is similar to the rest scan on the same day.
Yes, the MPI scan is safe. Although there is some radiation during the test, the amount is within the accepted safety levels.
During the stress test, your heart rate, blood pressure and ECG will be closely monitored by our doctor.
If you are or are likely to be pregnant, please inform your doctor. It is advisable that you do not proceed with the test as radiation is involved.
To avoid unnecessary radiation exposure, you are advised to:
If you are breastfeeding, resume only 24 hours after the test.
You will be examined by a doctor to ensure that you are fit to undergo the test. If you are having flu with fever, infectious disease such as sore eye or chicken pox, feeling lethargic or maybe pregnant, you should not undergo the test. Please contact us to reschedule the appointment.
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