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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Pharmacologic Cardiac Perfusion

A pharmacologic (medication) cardiac perfusion test checks the blood flow in your coronary arteries. The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle. This test can detect coronary artery disease or CAD (blockage in the coronary arteries) and the extent of CAD, if present. This test is primarily for patients who should not exercise or have difficulty exercising.

The test is divided into two steps. Step one of the test is performed while the heart is at rest, and step two of the test is performed while the heart is stressed. A separate set of pictures is taken for each part of the test. For both parts of the test you will receive a diagnostic imaging agent called Thallium. Thallium allows the camera to see the heart better. For the second part of the test, in addition to Thallium, you will be given a medicine that stresses your heart or that briefly changes the blood flow to your heart (much the same way blood flow changes during exercise) and may be asked to perform light exercises. The entire test should take between 3 to 3-1/2 hours to complete.


If you have any questions, please call Nuclear Cardiology at 312-926-8662.




Last UpdateMarch 16, 2011