A thallium stress test is an extremely common procedure that allows a doctor to monitor the electrical activity in the heart while the patient walks on a treadmill with a continuous EKG to take “before and after pics” of the heart. Pictures are taken before and after walking to see if there is an area of low blood flow, which suggests blockage in a coronary artery.
In order to scan the heart, an isotope called thallium will be added to an I.V. Thallium is a special tracer that when injected gets to the heart through the bloodstream. A patient will normally walk on a treadmill during the test. Upon completion of this exercise, the patient will then be scanned for around twenty minutes. When the scan is complete, the I.V. will be removed.
The patient will be scanned again during a “resting” test. This test is administered while the patient lies under a scanner for approximately twenty to thirty minutes while pictures of the heart are obtained. If the thallium has arrived at all parts of the heart muscle, then the images will look normal. If there is a blockage present then the thallium will not arrive to that portion of the heart muscle and it will be reflected on the heart images.
Exercise testing is a cardiovascular stress test using EKG and blood pressure monitoring. Stress testing, established after exercise testing, is a diagnostic procedure in which cardiovascular stress is induced. Thallium stress testing is a nuclear medicine study which evaluates the blood supply to the heart. Information about the heart function can also be obtained. The study mainly involves imaging the heart at rest and after the patient’s heart has been stressed.
The main purpose of the stress test is to increase the blood flow to the heart. Differences in blood flow to different parts of the heart are more obvious when the blood flow is increased. Thallium stress tests allow radiologists to determine whether or not there are significant blockages in the arteries that may cause a decrease in blood flow.
Thallium stress tests are performed on patients when there is a need to evaluate the strength of the heart, find the cause of chest pain, check the severity of coronary artery blockage, and condition the heart after cardiac arrest and the tolerance level of the heart for physical activities. Basically, a thallium stress test is a method for nuclear imaging to check the flow of blood in the heart muscles, while resting and during activity.
The digital medical imaging center, CDI Miami, offers thallium stress testing as a preventative treatment option for patients who need to evaluate heart strength. They are also known for their reputation as one of the best full body PET scan Miami facilities in the state; they are owned and managed by physicians, radiologists, technicians, and other highly trained and qualified staff.
The Center for Diagnostic Imaging offers many preventative scanning options, including CAT scan, CT PET scan, MRI MRA, and X-ray options. In addition to their diagnostic services, CDI Miami is also known as one of the most preferred ultrasound Miami facilities.