Myocardial Perfusion Studies (MPS) are a Nuclear Medicine technique which assess the extent of damage to your heart from heart disease.
MPS uses a small amount of radioactive material, known as a tracer which is injected into your body and is absorbed into your heart. While these studies use radiation, the dose is very low and is rapidly excreted from the body, by your liver or in your urine.
A special Nuclear Medicine Gamma camera takes pictures of the heart, enabling the Radiologist to see where and how the heart has absorbed the radioactive material.
How do I prepare?
The preparation for a Myocardial Perfusion Scan is very specific. You will be asked to fast before your scan and avoid caffeine beforehand. A detailed preparation sheet will be given to you when you book your appointment and its important to follow these.
Wear a separate top top and bottoms during your appointment as this makes changing for the examination easier.
Please don’t apply any body lotion or sunscreen to your chest before the appointment.
Please bring a list of all the medication you are on with you to your appointment.
If you’re pregnant please let the Technician know.
Technology and Team
Your MPS will be performed by a Nuclear Medicine Technician. The pictures the technician captures are viewed by a Nuclear Medicine Physician and a Radiologist who make the diagnosis together. At Queensland X-Ray we also have dual trained Doctors working in this field.
Radiologists, Radiographers and our Nurses work together to deliver this service. Due to the number of people involved, this is why we ask you travel to one of our hospital or comprehensive sites for this imaging procedure.
What happens during my examination
The Nuclear Medicine Technician will explain exactly what will happen during your procedure. It may vary slightly from what we describe below, so don’t worry.
When you arrive for your appointment an IV will be placed into your arm and a small amount of radioactive tracer will be injected. It shouldn’t make you feel any different.
You will be asked to sit in a waiting room for around 40 minutes while the tracer is absorbed into your body.
The Gamma Camera is similar to a CT and MRI in design and looks like a doughnut (the technical word for it is a gantry) with the box-shaped Gamma Cameras in front, with a bed passing through the middle. You will be asked to lie on the bed with your arms stretched above your head as it moves through the opening in the gantry. The gantry isn’t a long narrow tunnel – it is actually quite wide and short.
Following the scan we will need your heart rate to be raised so we can capture images of your heart under ‘stress’. You will be asked to walk on a treadmill if able, or if not, we can give you a pharmaceutical product which will have the same effect.
After another 45 minutes, we’ll scan you again in the same way as before.
After the second scan you’re free to leave. We suggest you limit the time you spend near children and pregnant women for the remainder of the day.
You will be in the Nuclear Imaging suite for between 3-4 hours.
After your examination
The results of your Myocardial Perfusion Study will be sent directly to your referring Doctor. Please ensure you book a timely follow-up appointment to discuss your results with them.
Myocardial Perfusion Studies are Bulk Billed.