What is a Myocardial Perfusion Imaging (MPI) test?
MPI is a non-invasive imaging test that shows how well blood flows through your heart muscle. It can show areas of the heart muscle that aren’t getting enough blood flow. This test is often called a nuclear stress test. It can also show how well the heart muscle is pumping.
This test is useful in patients with chest discomfort to see if this comes from lack of blood flow to the heart muscle caused by narrowed or blocked heart arteries (angina). MPI doesn’t show the arteries themselves, but can tell the doctor with good certainly if any heart arteries are blocked and how many. MPI can also show if you have previously had a heart attack.
Depending on circumstances, for example if the MPI is abnormal, the next step may be performing a Coronary Angiogram. On the other hand, if the MPI study is normal, we can confidentially look into the causes of chest pain aren’t related to the heart.
How does a MPI test help the doctor?
- Find out if there are narrowing or blockages in your coronary arteries, if you have any chest discomfort;
- If you have heart damage from a heart attack
- Determine if you should undergo to a coronary angiogram;
- Decide whether you would benefit from a coronary stent or bypass surgery;
- Confirm that the stent or bypass surgery was successful;How your heart can handle physical activity.
What are the risk on a MPI test?
If you are pregnant, you need to tell before the test;
How do I prepare for a MPI test?
• Bring comfortable clothes and shoes.
• Some medication for the High Blood Pressure (beta-blockers) need to be stopped before the test.
What happen after my MPI test?
After the test, you can go back to normal activities.
Make appointment with your doctor to discuss the result of the test.
- An MPI test examines blood flow through your heart during exercise, on a treadmill or with medication (dobutamine/adenosine) to increase the blood flow to your heart muscle.
- The test uses radioactive material called tracers. This ones mix with your blood and are taken up by your heart muscle as the blood flows though your heart arteries.
- The “gama” camera take pictures of your heart to show how well your heart muscle is perfused (supplied with blood)
- The amount of radiation you get from a MPI test is small (less than a x-ray or CT-Scan).