What is an Adenosine Nuclear Stress Test?
Adenosine is a medicine that causes blood vessels to expand, especially those in the heart. In this way it acts like exercise. This medicine is used for patients who cannot use a treadmill but need a stress test. It is always used together with a radioisotope to make a blood flow image of the heart (see Nuclear Stress Test).
What can I expect the day of my test?
- No food for 4 hours prior to the test
- No caffeine (coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, etc.) for 24 hours prior to the test (caffeine causes the adenosine not to work)
- An intravenous catheter (a small tube) will be placed in a vein on your arm
- The radioisotope will injected at rest
- 45 to 60 minutes later a scan will be done of your heart (most often this will be done with you lying on your back with arms over your head under a detection camera, occasionally it is done sitting in a special chair), the scan lasts 15 to 30 minutes.
- Following the scan adhesive patches will be placed on your skin to monitor your electrocardiogram
- While lying supine the Adenosine will be injected through the intravenous catheter for 4 minutes
- 2 minutes after Adenosine is begun the radioisotope will be injected
- You may be asked to bend your arm up and down during the adenosine
- You may feel flushed or have shortness of breath, chest discomfort or a headache, these feelings stop 30 seconds after the adenosine is stopped
- 30 to 60 minutes later the scan is again performed, you may be asked to eat during this time
- Expect to be at the testing location for 3 hours