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Persantine Nuclear Testing

In patients who cannot exercise due to vascular or musculoskeletal problems (e.g. back pain, arthritis, etc.) an injection of intravenous persantine may be used to “stress” the heart. Nuclear isotopes are then be administered and the heart scanned with a special camera to identify areas of reduced coronary artery blood flow. Persantine should not be given to patients with asthma or who are on asthma medications or to patients with severe aortic stenosis or  unstable symptoms. Side effects of persantine include headaches, flushing, chest pain and shortness of breath. These effects are readily reversed with the antidote, aminophylline.