Procedure, Preparation and Side Effects of Lexiscan Stress Test

Submitted by Nic on November 11, 2012

Lexiscan stress test is a nuclear stress test that is only performed at the prescription of a physician. This is a non-evasive test aimed to detect heart problems and diseases. Your doctor will prescribe this test in case you are experiencing chest discomfort. The test may also be prescribed to monitor heart function in those who are undergoing treatment for heart diseases.

Preparation Required For a Lexiscan Stress Test

Before the Lexiscan stress test is performed, some preparation is required. Do not consume any caffeine at least 24 hours prior to the test. Do not eat or drink anything 4 to 6 hours before the test. If you have been taking any medications, do not take them prior to the test. You can bring your morning medications with you to consume them after the test.

Procedure

There are two parts to a Lexiscan stress test: the rest portion and the exercise portion. For the rest portion, a radioactive tracer is injected into your arm through the IV. After 30 to 60 minutes, the process of imaging will begin. A nuclear camera will be placed on your chest area and images are taken for the next 15 to 20 minutes. The Lexiscan stress test procedure is fairly simple in the resting phase. For the exercise portion, you will be asked to exercise on a treadmill. A nurse would attach EKG electrodes to your chest to monitor your heart rate. In case you are incapable of performing actual exercise, the drug Lexiscan is administered to simulate stress on the heart. Your heart rhythm will then be monitored for the next few minutes. Your blood pressure will also be monitored throughout the exercise portion. Midway through the exercise portion, a second round of radioactive tracer is injected into your body. Your heart rate and EKG will be monitored for another few minutes after administering the drug.

Side Effects

The Lexiscan side effects would range from mild allergies from the radioactive tracers to increased blood pressure due to the stress induced by exercise. Lexiscan stress test results are different for different labs and the interpretation is best performed by the doctor. The test may take several hours to complete, and since it is performed on an empty stomach, most doctors prefer doing the test in the morning.

Lexiscan stress test CPT code is Stress Test 93015. This test is classified with the other cardiac diagnostic tests. Your lab will be able to provide further information.

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