ABC Medical Center > Rest and stress myocardial SPECT

What is Rest and stress myocardial SPECT?

13:20 - 9 April , 2021

Medical procedure



This refers to a study whose primary goal is to evaluate the performance of the heart muscle. This test is done both at rest and during physical activity, in order to make an accurate diagnosis regarding the coronary arteries or even assess the success of a previous procedure such as stent placement. 

SPECT is usually performed when coronary artery problems are suspected, after a heart attack, or as a preoperative test for a delicate surgery.

Before the study:

In addition to informing your ABC doctor about any allergies you have or if you need to stop taking medications, you should also follow these recommendations:

  • Avoid wearing jewelry or watches (or any metallic ornaments or clothing). 
  • Dress in comfortable clothes and wear sneakers.
  • Remember not to eat food and/or drinks, at least five hours before the test, and no food with caffeine (chocolates, coffee, soft drinks), at least one day before the study.

During the procedure:

At two different times during the test, you will be given a radioactive material intravenously to be able to observe heart images clearly. It is important that you know that in case you cannot perform the stress test due to a physical limitation, then you will be given a medication that will activate the heart muscle without the need for you to perform any exercise. 

Once the test is finished:

Typically, the test lasts between three to four hours. When you are done, your ABC doctor will ensure your recovery and check that your blood pressure and heart rate return to normal.

It is likely that, at the end, you will feel some slight discomfort such as fatigue, nausea, slight dizziness, or muscle pain, however, you can resume your daily activities the same day without problems.

Potential risks:

In general, the test is quite safe, except in case of suffering an allergic reaction to the radioactive material used during the procedure.

At the Cardiovascular Center we offer you a wide range of prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and follow-up services to take care of you through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary care model. Come to us, we want to hear your heart.

Related centers and departments


  • fundación española del corazón
  • fundación mexicana del corazón
  • Alexanderson RE. Cardiología nuclear en la viabilidad miocárdica. Arch Cardiol Mex. 2002;72(Suppl: 1):9-13.
  • Bairey Merz CN, Pepine CJ, Walsh MN, Fleg JL. Ischemia and no obstructive coronary artery disease (INOCA): Developing Evidence-based Therapies and Research Agenda for the Next Decade. Circulation. 2017 [citado: 15/01/2019];135(11):1075-92.Disponible en:
  • Zaret BL, Beller GA: Nuclear Cardiology. State of the art and future directions. 2nd ed. Mosby, Boston, 1999.
  • Zuluaga-Quintero M, Cano-Granda CC. Infarto agudo de miocardio sin enfermedad coronaria ateroesclerótica obstructiva. Iatreia. 2018 Oct-Dic [citado: 15/01/2019];31(4):371-9. Disponible en:

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    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.