Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 22, 2008--Nuclear Adenosine Stress Test

Paul had a nuclear imaging adenosine stress test today. After the nurse prepped him for all the strange things he might feel, I (Nancy) could see that this test was not for the faint of heart.......hmmm....and so I asked myself, "Now, why do they perform this test after a person has a heart attack?" Paul walked very slowly on the treadmill while the adenosine coursed through his body. His heart pounded as if he were sprinting 400 meters, while his lungs thought he was lounging on the beach. An odd experience, to say the least.

This was a 2 part test: the nuclear imaging evaluates blood flow to the heart. During the test, a small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into a vein. A special camera, called a gamma camera (photo), detects the radiation released by the tracer to produce computer images of the heart.

The tread mill part of the test is when the patient is injected with adenosine to help determine if there is adequate blood flow to the heart during activity versus at rest. Adenosine dilates blood vessels leading into the heart, increasing blood flow, therefore simulating exercise for patients unable to exercise on a treadmill.

I don't think you'll see this as a virtual Disney ride in the near future.

Information taken from:

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