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Why is a stress myocardial perfusion scan performed?

A stress myocardial perfusion scan is used to assess the blood flow to the heart muscle (myocardium) when it is stressed by exercise or medication. Indications for an exercise or pharmacologic myocardial perfusion scan may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • chest pain, either new onset or occurring over a period of days or longer
  • following a heart attack (myocardial infarction, or MI)
  • to assess blood flow to areas of the myocardium that have been reperfused (coronary artery blood flow restored) by bypass surgery, angioplasty (the opening of a coronary artery using a balloon or other method), or stent (a tiny expandable metal coil placed inside an artery to keep the artery open)
There may be other reasons for your physician to recommend a myocardial perfusion scan.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.