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Myocardial scintigraphy

Figure: the blood flow of the heart is presented in different levels - above you can see the images under physical strain and below the stress and the rest images

Figure: the blood flow of the heart is presented in different levels – above you can see the images under physical strain and below the stress and the rest images

Myocardial scintigraphy is a nuclear medical examination of the heart muscle. It allows to detect blood flow disturbances of the heart at an early stage.

The coronary vascular disease is the most common cause of such circulatory disorders. Plaques can narrow the coronary arteries and trigger a heart attack.

The myocardial scintigraphy is performed by applying a small amount of a low-radioactive marker substance. Depending on the blood flow, it accumulates in the heart muscle and emits radiation. The radiation can be measured as image (scintigram) with a gamma camera. The measurement is done under physical strain and at rest.


Examination procedure

Stress phase

First, you will be physically strained either on a bicycle ergometer or through medication.

Then, a small amount of a low-radiation marker substance will be injected. This substance will accumulate depending on the blood flow of the heart muscle. The substances used are very well tolerated; allergic reactions are not known. The radiation load is low and quickly degraded.
After the injection, you should have a rich breakfast and drink the sparkling water we provide. This is necessary to empty the gallbladder. With an empty gallbladder, the image quality will be decisively improved.

After a short time of waiting (about twenty to thirty minutes), we will make so-called scintigrams, which means that a gamma camera will take pictures from the heart. This will only take a few minutes.

Rest phase

This time the examination is carried out without any previous physical exertion (for some patients this part of the examination is no longer necessary).

The two examinations usually take place the same day.


Preparation before and after the examination

Please do not take any heart or blood pressure medication or caffeine-carrying medication on the day of the examination and the evening before.

Caution: Some medication must be discontinued some time before the examination, but only after consultation with your doctor or cardiologist. These are especially some beta-blockers and nitro-glycerine. Please do not discontinue this medication without your doctor’s permission. If the examination at rest is carried out on another day, you can take your medication on this day as usual.

Please have only a small breakfast (half a roll, no banana, no chocolate).

Please DO NOT drink the following beverages in the morning: coffee, black or green tea, cola, cocoa (you should also not drink these beverages the day before).

Please bring a high-fat meal (e.g., rolls with cheese or cold cuts); After the injection, you can also have breakfast in the cafeteria of the DKD Helios Clinic.

Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes for cycling.

Please bring a towel with you.

We will send the examination results to your treating physician as soon as possible. He will then contact you to discuss the results as well as the possibility of a treatment.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions!

Download “Patient Information Myocardial Scintigraphy” (PDF)