PET rest and stress heart perfusion scan

What is this test?

It is a scan that takes pictures of the blood flow to your heart muscle at rest and during stress. It will tell your doctor if any parts of your heart do not get enough blood.

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. The 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

  • Do not wear jewelry
  • Do not wear clothing with metal.

Before your test, tell your doctor or nurse if:

  • You are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding.
  • You have a fear of closed-in places or if you are very nervous. 


Do not eat or drink for six hours before the test. You may drink plain water only.

  • 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 that day where you are told not to eat or drink for a longer amount of time, follow those instructions. 

Caffeine can affect this test. Your test will be rescheduled if you eat or drink caffeine 12 hours before the test, such as:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda pop
  • Chocolate
  • Cocoa
  • Decaffeinated drinks


Take your normal medications with water before your test. Do not take any medicine with theophylline, aminophylline, or dipyridamole for 48 hours before your test. 

What to expect

  • The test will take about 30 minutes. You may be at the PET Center for two to three hours.
  • During the test, we will give you:
    • A small amount of radioactive tracer into your vein through an intravenous (IV) catheter. Pictures will be taken.
    • A medicine to stress your heart called regadenoson and a second dose of radioactive tracer. A second set of pictures of your heart will be taken.
  • You will have to hold still with your arms above your head for about 30 minutes.
  • You will be asked to wait in the PET Center until the scan is read by the nuclear medicine doctor. It will take 45 to 60 minutes. You will get your results from your referring doctor.

After the test you may:

  • Eat your normal diet
  • Do your normal activity
Last reviewed: 
September 2018

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