What is a hemodynamic test?

A hemo (blood)-dynamic (flow) test is a nuclear imaging procedure that evaluates the function of the heart and circulation. The test may also be called a technetium (pronounced tek-nee-see-um) hemodynamic test.

What is syncope?

Syncope (pronounced "sin ko pea") is the brief loss of consciousness and posture caused by a temporary decrease in blood flow to the brain. Syncope may be associated with a sudden fall in blood pressure, a decrease in heart rate or changes in blood volume or distribution. The person usually regains consciousness and becomes alert right away, but may experience a brief period of confusion.

Syncope is often the result of an underlying medical condition that could be related to your heart, nervous system or blood flow to the brain.

Why is this test recommended?

The hemodynamic test results — along with the results from a blood volume test, heart rate and blood pressure monitoring — help your doctor determine the cause of syncope or certain circulation disorders. The test results also will help your doctor plan a course of treatment.

What are the risks of the test?

As with any procedure, there are risks of the hemodynamic test. Your healthcare provider will discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with you before the test is ordered.

If necessary, the test will be modified to minimize any potential risks.

The main risk of the procedure is an allergic reaction to the iodine used in the blood volume part of the test, although this is rare. If needed, Benadryl can be given.

One risk of the procedure during IV placement is bruising or swelling at the IV insertion site. These reactions are common. You may also experience pain or discomfort when the IV is inserted. Please talk to the lab staff if you are concerned about the IV insertion.

Reviewed: 09/11

This information is about testing and procedures and may include instructions specific to Cleveland Clinic. Please consult your physician for information pertaining to your testing.