Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsHeart Diseases · 1 decade ago

what is a thallium scan?

what is a isotope stress test?

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    In the scan, special cameras take a series of pictures of the heart for the purpose of obtaining information about the blood supply to the heart muscle. Radioactive thallium is injected into the bloodstream and serves as a tracer. The tracer attaches to certain cells and makes them visible to the special camera. The tracer attaches to the muscle cells of the heart so the imaging camera can take pictures of the heart muscles. If an area of the heart does not receive an adequate flow of blood, the cells in the underserved area do not receive as much tracer and it appears as a darker area on the picture taken by the camera. There are two ways of undertaking this scan. By exercising on a treadmill to stress the heart by making it go faster and more strongly, which is named a stress exercise thallium scan or by receiving adenosine (or another medication) to similarly stress the heart, this is named an adenosine thallium scan.

    The Isotope or Nuclear Stress test is actually divided into three parts: A treadmill stress test, imaging at rest, and imaging after exercise. There are two common types of isotope used in the USA. They are thallium and technetium. Some laboratories use a "dual isotope" technique, where thallium is used for the resting images and technetium is used for the stress pictures. Depending upon the isotope and protocol for the laboratory, resting images may be obtained either before stress or two to four hours after stress. In patients who are unable to complete a high level of exercise because of physical limitations, stress to the heart is provided by pharmaceutical or chemical stimulation.


    The information provided here should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

    Hope this helps

    matador 89

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's a type of Radionuclide test. It's also known as a Myocardial perfusion scan. The test is often used to evaluate CAD and assess the flow of blood to the walls of the heart and the efficiency of the hearts pumping action. The test is in two parts, rest + stress.

    A Doctor will inject thallium (radioactive substance). A camera is then positioned near the chest and picks up the gamma rays sent from the isotope as it passes through the heart.

    As I said above the test is done in two parts, for the stress part you'll be given isotope and be asked to exercise on a treadmill. If you are unable to do this due to lack of mobility, you will be given a drug to stimulate the heart to beat faster- the camera will then take pictures to assess the hearts action under stress.

    Source(s): Cardiac Nurse
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Myocardial Perfusion Imaging (MPI) Scanning is a non-invasive technique used to evaluate the extent of heart disease. Under normal circumstances the coronary arteries supply oxygen to the heart muscles. When these arteries become blocked or narrowed, the heart may not receive enough oxygen leading to chest pain or breathlessness. This scan is a Nuclear Cardiology Imaging technique using the injection of small amounts of a radioactive (thallium) substance into the blood stream. The injected thallium can be visualised as it travels through the arteries to the heart before, during, and after exercise by a special gamma camera.

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