An adenosine stress test is done after a drug called adenosine is administered in the arm by IV. When adenosine is given, the body reacts like it is exercising. Pictures are taken with a specialized camera which will view blood as it flows to the heart. This type of test is performed by a nuclear medicine technologist who specializes in this type of procedure. As far as preparation for this test, the patient is not to drink any caffeinated products within 24 hours of taking the test. Certain medications are restricted as well and would be advised by the health care professional before taking the test. Following all instructions will prevent any possible side effects. The adenosine stress test lasts for about five hours. Pictures are taken during the test after the IV is actively flowing. Then, there is a resting period of up to 3 hours. After that rest, more pictures are taken to compare to the earlier ones.
The adenosine stress test is given when there is concern about the heart functioning properly. It will determine which part of the heart is not pumping the way it should be. When there are symptoms of congestive heart failure, often times a nuclear stress like this one will be given. Cholesterol readings in the higher level along with other symptoms of heart failure or other heart issues will warrant a stress test as well. An adenosine cardiolite stress test is usually given to those unable walk on a treadmill or exercise for a stress test. During an adenosine stress test, the technologist is searching for blockages, and for where removing plaque from arteries will benefit the future heart function of the patient.
Stress test with adenosine administered has few side effects if any. Whatever side effects are experienced are the effects from the adenosine drug itself. Although highly unlikely, a patient may feel the need to breathe heavier, chest pain, a flushed or nauseous feeling, or headache.