Myocardial Perfusion Scan

Myocardial perfusion imaging uses a radioactive tracer to assess myocardial blood flow.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a myocardial perfusion scan?

A myocardial perfusion scan allows us to visualise the perfusion (blood flow) to the heart muscle through your coronary arteries. In order to complete the test, we obtain an image of this blood flow under both “rest” and “stress” conditions. This helps determine whether your heart muscle is receiving adequate blood flow when it is needed. The difference in the blood flow between these two states provides information about the function of the coronary arteries.

What happens during a myocardial perfusion scan?

To allow us to visualise blood flow, we inject a radioactive material called a radiopharmaceutical into a vein and then image its distribution throughout the heart muscle. This radiopharmaceutical should not have any side effects and you should feel normal following the injection.

This examination can take approximately 4-5 hours. As much of this time is spent in the waiting room, patients are advised to bring reading materials or other appropriate activities to keep themselves occupied during the non-examination time.

When you arrive for your examination, you can expect the following procedures to occur as part of your examination:

  1. A cannula will be inserted into a vein in your arm. All medications administered throughout the examination will be delivered via this cannula.
  2. The first injection of pharmaceutical will be for the ‘rest’ scan. Following this injection you will be required to wait for a minimum of one hour.
  3. Following this, you will then have your first set of images taken. This will take approximately 20 minutes.
  4. You will then undergo a stress test with the nuclear medicine physician. The stress test may be conducted either on an treadmill or via a medication which simulates the effects of exercise on the heart. The decision on which method is used depends on a number of factors, and is ultimately made by the nuclear medicine physician performing your test. At the completion of this test you will be given another injection of radiopharmaceutical for the “stress” scan.
  5. Following the stress test, you will be required to wait a minimum of one hour. During this time you will be allowed to have something to eat and drink.
  6. You will then have your second and final set of images which will take approximately 20 minutes.

How do I prepare for my myocardial perfusion scan?

Our dedicated cardiac nurse will call you in the days prior to your appointment to go over what specific preparation instructions you need to follow.

What happens after the examination?

Once the examination is complete, your films and report will be automatically, electronically transferred to your doctor once completed, there is nothing to wait for or pick up.


Patient Portal

Access your images and reports through our online portal. Haven't been setup, please call Imaging Morayfield reception to access your images via the Patient Portal.

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