Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Scan (MPI)

What is a MPI?

This test is designed to detect coronary artery disease (CAD) and to provide information on the functioning of the heart muscle. This is a two-day test. The first day will evaluate your heart at stress and the second day will evaluate your heart at rest. By comparing the information, we will be able to determine if your heart muscle is getting enough blood and oxygen and how well your heart is functioning.

This information is obtained by scanning your heart on both the stress and rest days. These pictures are obtained by administering a small amount of a radioactive tracer. This is NOT a dye like is used in x-ray and CAT scanning procedures, and this tracer has NO side effects to you.

This test is performed on two separate days. You will need to attend both days.

Day One: Your Stress Day

No caffeine for 24 hours and nothing to eat or drink after midnight.

Report to the front reception desk and they will escort you to the testing lab. An intravenous line (IV) will be placed in your arm. This IV line allows us to administer the radioactive tracer while we are stressing your heart, and to administer other medications that may be required during your stress test. You will be asked to walk on a treadmill to adequately stress your heart. Your heartbeat, heart rhythm and blood pressure will be constantly monitored. When your heart is adequately stressed, the radioactive tracer will be administered through the IV in your arm. You will be asked to continue to walk on the treadmill for at least one more minute after the injection. How long you walk on the treadmill will depend on how the physician feels your heart is at peak stress.

If you have physical limitations or are on certain medications, a drug may be used to stress your heart. This will be determined by the physician.

After completing the stress portion of your test, a scan of your heart will be performed. You will be asked to proceed to Medical Imaging Consultants on the second floor of the Hys Centre for this scan. The scan of your heart will require you to lie on a bed with your arms above your head for approximately 20 – 30 minutes. There will be a waiting period before the scan during which time you may eat or drink.

Day Two: Your Rest Day

You will need to fast for 4 to 6 hours prior to your appointment. You will go directly to Medical Imaging Consultants on the second floor of the Hys Centre for this test. Please check in at their reception desk. You will be given an injection of the radioactive tracer into your arm. After your injection, you will be able to eat and drink. The scan will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.


Do not consume any caffeine for 24 hours prior to your stress test appointment.
Some items containing caffeine are coffee, chocolate, decaffeinated coffee, tea and soft drinks. Medications such as Darvon, Anacin or Fiorinal also contain caffeine. If you are on pain medications, you need to contact your pharmacist to find out if they contain caffeine. If they do, you may not take them 24 hours before your appointment. Your pharmacist can suggest an alternate pain medication.

Do not eat or drink anything after midnight before the test.
If you normally take medications in the morning, you may continue to do so with a small sip of water (unless otherwise directed by your physician).

Bring all your medication bottles or a list of your medications with the dosage included.
Continue taking all your medications as directed by your physician. Should you have any questions about taking your medications, contact your doctor’s office.

Diabetic Patients
If you are diabetic and take pills or insulin to control your blood sugar levels DO NOT take them on the morning of your stress test or the morning of your rest test. Bring your medications with you to the test along with a snack and your glucometer. If you have any questions or concerns, contact your doctor’s office or the Nuclear Medicine Department at 428-1121 Extension 4170.

Asthmatic Patients
Please notify us at the time of your test if you are asthmatic. Please ensure that you bring all your “puffers” and other medications with you to the test.

Men – wear comfortable pants or sweatpants and soft soled shoes.
Women – wear comfortable pants or sweatpants, a loose-fitting t-shirt with short sleeves and soft soled shoes. Do not wear one-piece garments or pantyhose.

There will be a waiting period between the time you have your stress test and the time when you will have your scan done. During this time, you will be allowed to eat and drink. If you would like to bring a snack and something to drink, please feel free to do so.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the preparation for your test, please contact the Nuclear Medicine Department at the Hys Centre at 428-1121 Extension 4170.

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