What is it?

The test evaluates the blood flow throughout the heart and the viability of the heart muscle.

How is the test done and how long does it take?

Part 1: When you first arrive in the department our staff will place a small cannula into a vein in your arm. We will use this cannula for the rest of the procedure. An injection of a small dose of radioactive Tc 99m Sestamibi will then be injected into this cannula. This will circulate for 30-40 minutes and then you will be positioned under a Gamma camera which takes a scan of your heart. This takes about half an hour.

Part 2: You will then be prepared by our staff for an exercise test (if you cannot exercise our specialist will advise you on another method using pharmaceuticals). The staff will place several ECG discs onto your chest. You will be asked to commence exercise on a treadmill while your heart rhythm and performance is carefully monitored by the doctor. Near the end of the treadmill test, the doctor will give you another injection of Sestamibi through the cannula.

Part3: At this point you can eat and drink freely. Half an hour later you will be positioned under the camera again for 30 minutes. The total time of the test is 4-5 hours.

Is it painful and are there any side effects?

You will not notice any side effects from the radiotracer injection. Serious side effects from the exercise or pharmaceuticals are extremely rare. You will be closely monitored throughout the test.

  • If you are breastfeeding, pregnant or think that you might be pregnant, please tell the staff BEFORE the first injection.
  • If you have a morning appointment, you must fast from midnight. If you have an afternoon appointment, you must fast for at least 6 hours prior.
  • Do not have caffeine for 48 hours prior to test (no coffee, tea, chocolate, cola, energy/sports drinks, energy bars)
  • Cease Theodur for two days prior to the test.
  • Cease Imdur on the morning of the test.
  • Isopin and Beta Blockeres (including Inderal, Betaloc, Lopressor, Aptin, Tenormin, Visken)
  • No “patches” are to b worn on the morning of the test.
  • Dress in comfortable clothing that you can easily remove and exercise in. This includes sports shoes.
  • Bring a packed lunch. Alternatively you may buy food and drink at nearby stores.
  • If you are diabetic or your test is scheduled for 10.30am or later, you may have 2 slices of dry toast and 1 glass of orange juice at 6.00am
  • For Insulin Dependent Diabetics, administer half your dose of Insulin. For Oral Diabetics, do not take your tablets on the morning of the test.
What should I do following the test?

We ask that you:

  1. Keep yourself well hydrated for the next 24 hours. A substantial amount of the Tc99m injection will pass out through your urine.
  2. Keep your distance from pregnant woman or children.
  3. If you are seeing your doctor or any other health professional immediately after your scan please notify them that you are still a source of radiation.
  4. We ask that you do not schedule any other appointments for yourself for the rest of the day.



9716 3600


 8042 3000


9911 6800

Five Dock

8705 8300


9598 0100


8228 9000

North Strathfield

8282 8100

North Sydney (Mater Imaging)

9955 4466
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