Wanting to hear about Isotope Stress Test

I was diagnosed with AF in August 2013. Since then I have taken warfarin (5mg pd) and my 2 monthly INR's are regularly 2.3

Last Friday I met with the cardiology consultant @ our general hospital. He recommended I have one shot at cardioversion, also I have a Isotope Stress Test. I am particularly interested in hearing from other members of this forum who have also had the stress test and if they think it's a good or bad test to have.

Thank you


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11 Replies

  • Hi dml,

    I had the Isotope Stress Test many years ago. They inject you with the Radio Isotope and then subject you to some exercise, in my case the old exercise bike. I then got sent to wander round the shops for an hour. On return was put through a monitor to look at the heart. The purpose of the test is to measure the blood flow in the heart muscle to see if there is any restriction in the arteries or capillaries. I was told not to go near pregnant women or young children for a couple of days until the isotope had been flushed out of my system. It does leave you a bit "radioactive" for those couple of days. At the time I was still working with laboratory X-Ray equipment so had to explain why my radiation monitor film badge was abnormal. Could also measure the radiation from myself with my radiation monitor, but that quickly cleared. The radiation is very quickly expelled from the body and does no harm.

    So, nothing to worry about and it does give the cardio's the above information and also lets you know if the heart is getting the blood flow it requires.

    Hope that helps allay your concerns.


  • Hi Walter and many thanks for your most informative reply. Accompanying me to the test will be my youngest daughter who has 2 children under the age of 8 so I guess I had better check to see if it's ok for my daughter to be with me.

    Bye for now


  • I can confirm from my own experience that there should be nothng to worry about with this test. It seems to give more detail than an echocardiogram and in my case picked up a relatively minor narrowing of an artery that has now been corrrected by an angioplasty.

  • Thank you. As a matter of interest how long did the entire process take ~ from when you walked into the hospital till when you walked out?

    Bye for now


  • My appointment was for 9.30 and it was probably after 12 by the time I left. As farmerwalt mentioned in his reply there is an interval between injection of the radioactive substance and the actual scan - in my case at least an hour and a half.

    I was told to eat something fatty during this time which apparently improves the scan. In my case the scan was repeated a couple of days later without excercise, presumably to get a baseline for comparison with the stress version.

  • Thanks for that info. I wasn't aware a second test could be required ~ I live a long way from John Radcliif @ Oxford and the original and local Consultant never mentioned a second trip. I may have to cancel the entire test as the interference to my home life will be too much (I am a full time carer to my partner who had a bad stroke in 2012 and she is totally dependent on me) . Not your problem: I was just thinking out load.

    Finally, when you were told to eat something fatty did that mean a bacon sandwich or a kilo of lard!

    Bye for now


  • As I remember it was a cheese and ham wrap which turned out to be not quite enough. Perhaps a full English breakfast would have been better.

    To answer your second question, I was given detailed and comprehensive instructions about both tests with my appoiintment letter so hopefully John Radcliffe will do the same. They may not require a second test as hospitals don't always follow the same protocols.

  • Yet again many thanks for your answers ~ it's odd how I sat with the consultant for a long time and yet it wasn't until I got home I thought of all the questions I should have asked. So if you don't mind I will re-name you Consultant No: 2

    Bye for now


  • Supplementary question: wouldn't it have made sense for them to to create the baseline when you first walked in and then run the radioactive test procedure? Perhaps I am missing the point. Or perhaps I am wriggling to get out of a second appointment. By the way, did you know beforehand you were going to be recalled for a second appointment?

    I'll be quiet now.


  • I went for my usual 2 monthly INR this morning and to my horror the reading was 1.6 and I'm back next week with a increased warfarin dosage for the next few days. At this point please close your eyes and i will utter an expletive!

    Whilst at the surgery I bumped into my GP and we talked about my concern over my radiation filtering through to my grandchildren. He reassured me it couldn't happen.




  • Glad I could help.

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