PET cardiac viability scan

What is this test?

It is a scan to check heart muscle health in the presence of decreased blood flow.

Your appointment

If you make any changes to your insurance before your appointment please call Registration at 1-866-309-0832. This will help lessen delays and the need to reschedule your test, as many radiology services need pre-authorization.

Take Elevator I to the Lower Level. PET Imaging Center is across the hall from the elevator.

If you cannot do the prep listed below, you may not be able to have the test, or it may need to be rescheduled.

Call the PET Center at 1-319-356-4100 and ask to talk with a nurse if you cannot keep your appointment or have questions.

Getting ready for your test

  • You will have your blood sugar checked when you get to the PET Center. If your blood sugar is above 250, the test will be rescheduled.
  • Do not wear jewerlry.
  • Do not wear clothing with metal.

Before the test, tell your doctor or nurse if:

  • You are pregnant, think you may be pregnant, or you are breastfeeding.
  • You have diabetes. Your diabetes medication may need to be changed before your test.
  • You have a fear of closed-in places or if you are very nervous.


​​Do not eat for six hours before the test. You may drink water.

  • If you get food through a tube, stop the tube feeding six hours before the test.
  • If you get nourishment through a vein in your arm, such as total parenteral nutrition (TPN), stop the infusion six hours before the test.
  • If you have any other test today where you are told not to eat or drink for a longer amount of time, follow those instructions.


  • Take your normal medicines with water before your test.
  • Talk to a nurse in the PET Center if you take medicine for your diabetes.

What to expect

The test will take 15 to 30 minutes. You may be in the PET Center for one to two hours.

  • During the test we will give you:
    • Intravenous (IV) glucose over 10 minutes
    • IV insulin
    • A small amount of IV radioactive tracer
  • You will wait 40 minutes in a room before the test. Your blood sugar will be checked during this time.
  • After the test you may:
    • Eat your normal diet 
    • Do you normal activity
Last reviewed: 
September 2018

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