A Cardiac stress test with imaging, also known as a myocardial perfusion scan, is a sort of nuclear medicine exam which makes use of images to illustrate the flow of blood to the heart muscle. The test employs an intravenous injection of a radioactive tracer material (which merges with the blood and goes into the cells of the muscles of the heart) besides connecting the patient to a Cardiac monitor. In case, the material does not arrive at the heart, it simply conveys the fact that either the arteries are obstructed or the heart is injured.

This test is done both prior to and subsequent to the involvement of the patient in some sort of exercise. The patient is given a radioactive tracer that emphasizes the flow of his/her blood so that a distinctive camera can observe it effortlessly. So far so good!

But for the last couple of years, this test has been the hub of argument due to two reasons:

  1. Mounting health care costs due to irrelevant use.
  2. Patient safety in the perspective of radiation exposure.

What’s the remedy?

The remedy is very simple! Clinical judgments need to be given due importance, signifying bigger use of stress testing without radiological imaging. Eg. Customary exercise treadmill tests, stress testing with ultrasound imaging etc.

Another hot issue under discussion is the inferior rates of management being received by the specified ethnic and cultural inhabitants in a country, who are different in race, religion or culture than most of the inhabitants of that country. What could be the reason? ‘Perhaps they are not being tested properly!’