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Myocardial Perfusion (MIBI) Scan

A Rest/Stress MIBI Scan (Myocardial Perfusion Scan) checks how the heart muscle is working and looks at the amount of blood that goes to the heart muscle. 

Pictures are taken when your child is relaxing (Rest Scan) and after your child has been exercising (Stress Scan).  A treadmill or a stationary bicycle is used for the exercise part of the test.


Your child can eat and drink as usual but should try to avoid drinks that contain caffeine from the day before the test (for example coffee, tea, and energy drinks).  It is also recommended that your child wear comfortable clothing and running shoes for the exercise portion of the test.

What to expect

  • This test is done in 3 parts and will take most of the day to complete.
  • A parent or guardian may stay with the child at all times.
  • Siblings are not allowed in the room during the test.
  • Eating and drinking are not allowed in the room.

Part 1

Your child will need Intravenous (IV) access for this procedure. An IV is a needle that is inserted into a vein, in the arm or back of the hand.

The IV will stay in place during the test and will be removed when all 3 parts of the test are complete.

An injection containing a very small amount of radioactive medicine will be given through the IV.  Once the medicine is given, your child will have to wait one hour for the medicine to reach the heart muscle through the blood.

You and your child can leave for this hour but will be asked to have something fatty to eat or drink (like a muffin, donut or milk) 30 minutes after the medicine is given. 

You can bring the food with you or buy it at the hospital. You will be told what time to have your child eat and when to return for the second part of the test. 

Part 2

Your child will be asked to lie down on a narrow bed and a seat belt will go across their body for safety and to help them remain still for the pictures of their heart.  This allows us to take pictures of their heart.  The pictures will be taken with a special camera and will take about 30 minutes to complete.

Your child should not feel any discomfort during the scan and can choose to be distracted (for example, watch a movie).

When the pictures are done, your child will be able to leave the department again and you will be told when to return for the third part of the test.  Your child can have something light to eat and drink between the second and third part of the test. 

Part 3

For the third part of the test your child will be asked to exercise using a treadmill or stationary bike.  While they are exercising, another injection containing a small amount of radioactive medicine will be given through the IV. 

This medicine will allow us to see how the heart is working during exercise.  When your child is finished exercising, pictures will be taken with the same special camera as they were in part 2. 

When these pictures are finished, the IV will be removed and the test is done.

Post test

It is important to give your child extra fluids for the rest of the day to keep them hydrated and help the medicines leave the body quicker.  

The scan results are given by a doctor specialized in Nuclear Medicine and not by the technologist doing the test.  A report is sent to your doctor’s office, usually within 2-3 business days. 

Please call the Nuclear Medicine Department at 416-813-6065 if you have any questions about the procedure or if you need to change the appointment.

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