Myocardial Perfusion Scan

A myocardial perfusion scan (MPS) or sestamibi cardiac scan, is used to assess the health of the cardiac muscle and the blood supply to it from the cardiac blood vessels. An MPS shows how efficiently the heart is pumping, if the heart muscle is not receiving sufficient blood supply (ischaemia) and can also help in separating conductive cardiac issues from vascular ones.

Image Modality Nuclear


  • You will be required to stop drinking any drink that may contain caffeine for 24 hours prior to the scan. You will need to fast from midnight prior. A staff member will contact you to determine if you will need to cease any medications prior to the scan. Please bring a list of any medications with you.

    If there is any chance you may be pregnant or you are breastfeeding, please contact us directly for specific instructions.

    • On arrival, you will have your details taken and we will confirm that you have ceased any required medications, caffeine and have been fasting.
    • An IV is placed into the middle of the arm and you will be injected with a specific radioactive tracer. This tracer is absorbed by the heart muscle via the cardiac blood vessels. Reactions to this tracer are extremely rare.
    • After a waiting period (10-30mins), you will have the first of two sets of scans. This first scan will take about 10 minutes and will show how your heart looks in a resting state.
    • After this scan, you will undergo a stress test. A pharmaceutical may be used to help you in this process and the doctor performing the stress test will determine this. The stress test is performed using a treadmill or a stationary bike. You are exercised to your individual capacity or to the stage that you may demonstrate cardiac symptoms. Once you reach an appropriate stress level, you will receive a second injection of tracer. This will capture a ‘snap-shot’ of the blood supply to your heart at that point in time.
    • On completion of the stress test you will have a second scan. During the second scan, you will need to stay awake as the images are synchronised with your heartbeat. This scan will show what the blood supply looked like at the point of injection during your stress test.
    • Once the second scan is complete the technologist will check the images. The IV is removed and you will be allowed to leave.
  • This scan is a multi-stage process that can take up to 5 hours.

  • Queensland X-Ray has the latest Nuclear Medicine equipment, with SPECT/CT available across all departments.

    One of our nuclear medicine technologists will perform your bone scan, under the supervision of one of our nuclear medicine specialists.

    The images the technologist acquires are reviewed by a specialist who reports on the findings. The report will be sent to your referring doctor, who will explain the findings to you. Technologists performing the scan do not discuss scan results with you.

How much will it cost?

Fees for radiology procedures will vary depending on a variety of factors. We will advise you about the cost of your service at the time of booking but if you do have any questions, contact us and one of our team will be happy to help with your query. You can read more about our billing information here.

How do I access my images?

At Queensland X-Ray, we provide our patients with their images and results online. To access your images and results, you’ll need to register for an account when you visit one of our practices. If you’ve already registered, you can access the Patient Portal here.

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