The Important of a Thallium Heart Stress Test

Heart Stress test Nuclear
Nuclear Adenosine Stress Test
There are several different types of stress tests one could take to determine their heart fitness.  Before a stress test is given, an echo cardiogram is given, then a stress test.  A nuclear stress test is a medical test wherein it is determined if enough blood is flowing to the heart.  This test is done on a treadmill or bicycle.  The test reflects if there is an imbalance of blood flow to the left ventricle of the heart.  It is also a reflection of the person’s overall fitness level.  It is done by nuclear imaging.

Why is it Important to Get a Heart Stress Test?
 Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States.  Many people are unaware that they are on the verge of a heart attack until they actually have one and by then, most of the time it is too late.  
Thallium Stress Test
A thallium stress test is a nuclear scanning test.  It shows how well blood is flowing to the heart.  It is performed in conjunction with a stress test on a treadmill or bicycle.  There are different kinds of stress tests and each have their unique functions.  The function of a thallium test is to discover the extent of artery blockage, determine how well a patient is doing who has suffered a heart attack, to see how effective heart surgery procedure was done to improve blood circulation to the arteries and the amount of exercise a patient can perform. The test is performed by injecting thallium into the patient’s blood stream after the patient has reached their maximum level of exercise.  They then lie on a table under an x-ray-like camera that sees the thallium and it takes pictures.  If after the thallium mixes with the blood and the heart muscle does not receive enough blood supply then less than a normal amount of thallium will be in the heart muscles. 

Some patients cannot walk on a treadmill due to coronary artery disease, so doctors give what is called an IV Persantine-Thallium stress test.  Persantine is a drug that expands the coronary arteries to increase blood flow.  There are side effects to Persantine-thallium as with all drugs but they are not serious. 
Stress Test Cardiolite
Cardiolite stress test is another type of cardiac test that is performed to determine if enough blood flow is going to the heart while the heart is under stress.  It is performed by insertion of an intravenous tube before the patient exercises and a substance called Cardiolite is injected into the bloodstream.  How it is performed is that electrodes are placed on the chest and your blood pressure, heart rate and ECG will be monitored and recorded.  You will then get on the treadmill and start slowly.  During the 3 minutes the incline of the treadmill rises.  Every few minutes the treadmill increases in speed and in incline.  About a minute and a half before you finish exercising Cardiolite is injected into your blood stream as you continue to exercise.