Adenosine/Persantine Stress Test

Explanation of the Test

The test will begin in the Nuclear Medicine Department at Saint Joseph Hospital where a resting Cardiolite study will be performed. An intravenous line (I.V.) will be started in the arm and a radioisotope called CARDIOLITE will be injected. You will wait 60 minutes for the Cardiolite to take effect before lying on a cart and having pictures taken of your heart. This procedure will take about 60 minutes to perform and will trace the Cardiolite as it moves through the heart. If the heart is not receiving enough blood flow, it will show up on the pictures.

After this procedure, a member of the Nuclear Medicine staff will bring you to the Heart Station for the stress portion of the test. Ten small pads (electrodes) will be placed on your chest to monitor your heart (chest hair will be shaved if necessary). A drug (Dipridamole/Persantine or Adenosine) will be injected through your I.V. site to simulate the effects of exercise on the heart. This drug will cause the blood vessels to dilate and allow increased blood flow to the heart. Your electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood pressure will be measured throughout the test. Following the injection of Dipyridamole or Adenosine, Cardiolite will be injected in preparation for the second set of pictures.

At the end of the test, the ECG connections will be removed and you will be taken back to Nuclear Medicine. Your second set of pictures will be taken, which will take about 30 minutes.

The first set of pictures shows how your heart performs at rest while the second set shows how your heart responds to an increased amount of blood flow.


  • A light meal of juice and toast is recommended prior to the test.
  • No caffeine, including coffee, tea and diet drinks, is allowed prior to the test.
  • Do not smoke three hours prior to the test.
  • Bring a list of your current medications.
  • Prior to the test, please notify the technician if you have any history of asthma or chronic lung problems.
  • You should ask your doctor whether you should take your regular medications prior to the test.

General Information

  • The test takes about four hours.
  • Any further questions about the test may be answered by your physician.
  • Results will be sent to your doctor within 24 hours from when the test is performed.
  • If you are unable to keep your appointment or will be late, please call the Heart Station at 773-665-3187 as far in advance as possible.
Call 877-RES-INFO for Nurse Advice, Doctor Referrals or Class Registration Monday - Friday 8 am to 8 pm • Weekends 8 am to 4pm

Special Features

  • Top cardiovascular hospital

    Recognized as a 2014 Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital by Truven Health Analytics. Learn more.

  • Accreditation Earned

    Chicago Institute of Advanced Bariatrics earns national accreditation from the ACS.

  • Academic Center of Excellence

    Named an Academic Center of Excellence by the American Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery. Learn more.

  • We need your voice!

    Our legislators are tackling issues that impact on our ability to live our mission. Learn more »

For Your Good Health

  • Stories of Patient Care

    Find out what our patients are saying about us here at Saint Joseph Hospital.

Saint Joseph Hospital has gone social