What to Expect

How to Prepare​​​​​

Please bring with you a list of your current medications. This includes prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamin or mineral supplements and herbal remedies.​

DO N​​OT eat or drink caffeinated, decaffeinated or caffeine-free products (such as soda, chocolate, coffee, energy drinks, tea, or Tylenol #1, 2 or 3) for at least 48 hours before the test.

Checking In​​

When you arrive at the Nuclear Cardiology Lab, check in at the reception desk. Please have the following ready:​

  • ​Health card (OHIP card). If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license, passport, or other provincial health card). Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
  • ​Your name, address and birth date

Before the Persantine Sestamibi Test

When you check in, the receptionist will give you a name band to wear. The technologist will call you when it is time for your test. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown. There are lockers for your clothes in the change area, but you should keep your valuables with you.

​When you have finished changi​ng, a technologist will take you into the room. They will explain the procedure and ask for your consent.

During and After the Persantine Sestamibi Test

A technologist will first ask you questions about your medical history, do an ECG​ and check your blood pressure and heart rate. Then you'll be given a needle with a radioactive tracer called Sestamibi, which lets us see how your heart is working.

After a wait of about 45 minutes to an hour, we'll take pictures of your heart at rest. You'll need to lie very still under a gamma camera with your arms above your head for half an hour.

You can then have a break, and you can eat something light (such as soup, sandwich, salad, water, juice or white milk). Please DO NOT have anything with caffeine during the break.

After the break, the technologist will set up an intravenous (IV) line in your arm or hand and inject persantine through the IV for 4 minutes while checking your heart rate, ECG and blood pressure. Then you will get a needle of Sestamibi again.

After a short wait, we'll take pictures of your heart again. You'll need to lie very still again under the gamma camera – again with your arms above your head for 30 minutes. We have you keep still so that our pictures are clear. If you move, we may need to take more pictures. 

The Results of Your Persantine Sestamibi Test

Once the test is completed, the technologist uploads your results to your records. The physician/radiologist will write a report and send it to your doctor.

The technologist cannot give you the results during your visit.​

Once the report is in your health record, your doctor can review it. You will get the results of the test from your doctor. 

How Long Will Your Appointment B​e?​

The whole appointment for the persantine sestamibi test takes about 4 to 5 hours.  The first part of the test will take about 2 hours, and the second part will take about 90 minutes with a break in between. 

We do everything that we can to stay on time. Unfortunately, your appointment may be delayed by unforeseen circumstances. We recommend that you come prepared for delays. ​

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