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Doctor insights on: Thallium Stress Test

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Dr. Gary Sandler
43 doctors shared insights

Thallium Stress Test (Overview)

A radioactive isotope of thallium, often 201, is injected iv. Heart muscle cells pump some of the radioactive thallium inside; less if blood flow past the cells is limited. Thus cells (or scar tissue) with low blood flow intake less thallium & emit less radiation. A gamma camera detects some of the radiation which exits the body. Only severe, not mild, artery disease complications can be detected.


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Is the thallium stress test a risky thing to do?

Is the thallium stress test a risky thing to do?

Not generally: Some people are concerned that stressing a heart that does have coronary artery disease can cause heart attack. Fortunately never seems to be the case. Can get arrythmia from some meds, but complications also quite rare. Usually benefit far outweighs risk. ...Read more

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Dr. Umesh Patel
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36 years in practice
345K people helped
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Dr. Gary Sandler
43 doctors shared insights

Thallium Stress Test (Overview)

A radioactive isotope of thallium, often 201, is injected iv. Heart muscle cells pump some of the radioactive thallium inside; less if blood flow past the cells is limited. Thus cells (or scar tissue) with low blood flow intake less thallium & emit less radiation. A gamma camera detects some of the radiation which exits the body. Only severe, not mild, artery disease complications can be detected.


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What is a thallium stress test procedure?

What is a thallium stress test procedure?

Checks heart functio: Thallium is a radioactive (minimally) isotope that is used to study the pumping capability of the heart, usually after heart attack or prior to surgery in someone with cardiac disease. Sometimes it's done simply to ensure proper cardiac capability in someone with risk factors or prior heart issues. It involves mild to increasing exercise to "stress" the heart and assess function under effort! ...Read more

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Dr. Umesh Patel
Board Certified
36 years in practice
345K people helped
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3
Is thallium stress test a very common procedure?

Is thallium stress test a very common procedure?

Very common: A thallium stress test is an extremely common procedure that allows the doctor to monitor the electrical activity in your heart while you walk on a treadmill with a continuous ekg (usually takes 10min) and to take "before and after pics" of your heart. Pictures are taken before and after walking to see if there is an area of low blood flow, which suggests blockage in a coronary artery. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: thallium stress test?

What is the definition or description of: thallium stress test?

Stress with Thallium: A radioactive isotope of thallium, often 201, is injected iv. Heart muscle cells pump some of the radioactive thallium inside; less if blood flow past the cells is limited. Thus cells (or scar tissue) with low blood flow intake less thallium & emit less radiation. A gamma camera detects some of the radiation which exits the body. Only severe, not mild, artery disease complications can be detected. ...Read more

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Dr. Umesh Patel
Board Certified
36 years in practice
345K people helped
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5

5
What do I need to bring along to do the thallium stress test?

What do I need to bring along to do the thallium stress test?

Just you: Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes (assuming it is an "exercise" not "chemical" stress). Don't eat or drink anything after midnight. Don't smoke for at least 4 hours before the test, and ask your doctor if you should adjust your morning medications (particularly Insulin if diabetic or a beta blocker - which is a blood pressure medication). ...Read more

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Having thallium stress test on heart, is it painful?

Having thallium stress test on heart, is it painful?

No: I have had many of these and other than fatigue on the treadmill, no problems. ...Read more

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Which test is more accurate a cardiac petscan or thallium stress test? Why is one or the other chosen by cardiologists?

PET over thallium: Both tests use nuclear isotopes. The isotope used in pet scans has better visualization/resolution characteristics than thallium which is a spect study (like technetium). Tissue viability is also superior in pet as compared to thallium. The problem is usually that pet is done in fewer cardiology systems than spect (technetium or thallium) of the spect scans, technetium is superior to thallium. ...Read more

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Is a thallium stress test optional or mandatory before getting a stent in your heart?

Is a thallium stress test optional or mandatory before getting a stent in your heart?

Depends on symptoms: Acute coronary syndromes, complete w chest pain, ECG changes, and biomarker elevation are an indication for catheterization and possible stent implantation without additional testing. Short of acute symptoms, noninvasive testing (such as myocardial perfusion imaging, or stress echocardiography) help define a clinical need to assess for a physiologically significant coronary obstruction. ...Read more

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
2,738 doctors shared insights

Stress (Definition)

Stress affects most people in some way. Acute (sudden, short-term) stress leads to rapid changes throughout the body. Almost all body systems (the heart and blood vessels, immune system, lungs, digestive system, sensory organs, and brain) gear up to meet perceived danger. These stress responses could prove beneficial in a critical, life-or-death situation. Over time, however, repeated stressful situations put a strain on the body that may contribute to physical and psychological problems. Chronic (long-term) stress can have real health consequences and should be addressed like any other health concern. Fortunately, research is showing that lifestyle changes and stress-reduction techniques can help people learn ...Read more


Dr. Jeffrey Wint
3 doctors shared insights

Stress Test (Definition)

A stress test is a cardiac test which can include walking on a treadmill and monitoring your heart while you are walking. They can also inject you with a nuclear material and do a more comprehensive scan on your heart to check for blockage. They can also do a chemical stress test which omits the need to ...Read more


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Dr. Umesh Patel
Board Certified, Cardiology
36 years in practice
345K people helped
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