The Thallium Stress Test is a specific test done to evaluate the performance of the blood as it flows through and around the Heart.

It can be performed both at rest and during activity and is referred to as a “nuclear stress test

Thallium is a radioactive substance and is given during the test and it is not harmful to your body or any Organs

What does it look at?

  • The size of your heart
  • Chambers of your heart
  • Any damages to your heart
  • Dead cardiac muscle
  • Plaque in arteries around heart
  • Narrowing of arteries around heart
  • Evidence of Coronary Artery Disease

Findings

  • Can be normal both at rest and with exercise
  • Can be normal with rest but abnormal with exercise.
  • Indicates blood flow is not adequate during stress
  • Can be abnormal at rest and during exercise
  • Indicates that a portion of the heart may be permanently deprived of blood
  • Indicates that a portion of heart may have scarring
  • Indicates a portion of heart muscle may had died
  • Indicates a possible previous Heart Attack
  • Indicates a possible blockage of the coronary arteries bring blood supply to the heart

Risks

  • Rashes on skin
  • Blood pressure change
  • Arrhythmia
  • Chest pain with exercise – angina
  • Difficulty breathing

*** – risks are very rare

Preparation for testing

  • No caffeine for 24 hours prior to study
  • No soda, coffee, tea, chocolate

What to expect

  • Similar to an exercise stress test
  • Several small metal disks placed on back and chest [electrodes]
  • Several wires attached to the electrodes
  • Wires will be attached to an EKG machine or an Electrocardiogram
  • Exercise by walking on treadmill
  • After exercising you will go into another room
  • Injection of Thallium will be given
  • While laying down a camera traces the radioactive substance as it goes through your heart.
  • Picture will be transmitted to a television monitor
  • You will then leave the testing area for 3-4 hours
  • When you return you will get a second injection and you will be evaluated again

What not to do while you leave testing room

1.)  Exercise
2.)  Tea
3.)  Coffee
4.)  Chocolate
5.)  Caffeine
6.)  No food or drink

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