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Hello. This is urgent and I really need your help! My dad is 76 years old and since my mom died six years ago he is very sick. He is having some heart issues but he was fine with all those medications that he was using. Today, early in the morning he faint in the bathing room and luckily I have heard it, it woke me up. I called 911 and they took him to the hospital. The doctors did some analyses immediately and they told me that he needs to do some myocardial perfusion scan. They didn’t explain to me what this scan is. Can you tell me what happens during a myocardial perfusion scan? Help me, I am out of my mind because I can’t do anything.

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Sorry about your dad. I really hope he will be fine.

They want to use cardiac perfusion to measure the amount of blood in his heart muscle. It is done both during exercise and at rest.

If he had angina they also might be doing it to find out the cause of those symptoms.

Also if he had a heart attack, they could do it to see if some part of the heart are not receiving enough blood. Or if they want to find out how much has the heart been damaged.

But they would probably tell you if he had suffered a heart attack, right?

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Here is what happens.

During this scan, they use camera and they take pictures of the heart. This is done after a special test medicine (that helps in creating the image) is given to him through his vein.

This test medicine is called radioactive tracer and goes all through his blood and into the heart muscle.

Now while the tracer is in the heart muscle, it moves and that way the areas that have good blood flow absorb it. This is not the case with the areas that are not getting enough blood and that are damaged as a result of a heart attack.

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Hey there. I am really sorry about your dad. There is nothing worse when someone is in constant pain, when he is at doctor’s offices all the time: / I just can’t tell you how sorry I am.

Here it goes – it is very simple indeed. Doctors will review your dad’s medical history and all other symptoms that he is having before the scan. This is because they will try to find the most suitable method for the test that can be selected.

A very small tube is going to be placed into his arm vein so that medicine and tracer that are used for the scan can be administrated.

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Hello. Basically, this is a very simple procedure to explain. You have very small amount of radioactive substance – tracer - that is injected into your blood so that your blood flow can be detected by the special camera that is used for the test.

Well this camera will be positioned close to your chest because it is going to be positioned close to your chest to take picture of different parts of your heart. It is very similar to an x – ray test. This scan usual has two parts – stress and rest.

It is not complicated at all and I believe that it is safe.

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I am very, very sorry to hear this.

Here is what you need to know. The nuclear medicine technologist will place a very small cannula into your vein in your arm and it is going to give you an injection of a tracer that looks at the blood flow in his heart muscle and it is going to observe other daily function every day. Once they give you this injection they will scan your heart and this can last for 15 to 20 minutes.

There is also a second part of the test that looks at the blood flow to your heart muscle at stress or when your heart is working under the pressure.

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During this scan you are monitored with a heart trace. It is called ECG which is short for  electrocardiogram.

So they will place some sticky pads i.e. electrodes on your chest. They will be connected to a machine which will show how your heart is responding.

They will probably have a set of images taken soon after they give you radionuclide chemical.

I remember my sister was asked to eat something before the pictures were taken. But they don’t do this in every hospital.

Then when you’re about to get scanned, you just lie there and gamma camera will detect the gamma rays coming from your body.

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Eating before the images are to be taken can help to make the images clearer. When I just want to add that the gamma camera detects the gamma rays and then there is a computer that will turn the information given into a picture.

They ask you to lie as still as possible while they take these pictures, and it is really important that you do because if you don’t the pictures will be blurred.

This procedure will take approximately half an hour, but it can last much less, it depends. It can last only 16 minutes. It all depends on the type of scanner.

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