A hemodynamic monitoring test can give your provider information about what’s causing your symptoms, such as fainting. Images from your test will tell your provider how much blood your heart can pump and how well your blood travels through your blood vessels. They can identify problem areas and create a care plan to address them.
Hemodynamic monitoring is a procedure that checks your blood circulation and evaluates how well your heart is working. It’s also known as a hemodynamic tilt test or a technetium (pronounced tek-nee-see-um) hemodynamic test. It uses nuclear imaging.
If you’ve been fainting (syncope), your provider will use the information from your test to find the cause of your syncope or circulation disorder. The test results will also help determine the best plan of care for you.
You may pass out when you have:
Many people who faint have a medical condition related to their heart, nervous system or blood flow to their brain.
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Because you can’t have the test if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding (chestfeeding), you may need to take a pregnancy test for your safety.
Don’t eat or drink anything for four hours before your test. This includes gum and candy. If you need to take medicines, take them with a small sip of water.
Don’t eat or drink anything that contains caffeine on the day of your test. This includes anything labeled “caffeine-free” or “decaffeinated.” These products may contain small amounts of caffeine.
If you have diabetes, ask for a 12:30 p.m. appointment time so you can eat a light breakfast before 8:30 a.m.
Don’t take strong diuretics (“water pills”) or laxatives before the test. It’s best if you don’t need to get up during your test.
You can take all other medications as you normally do. Ask your provider or pharmacist if any of your medications contain caffeine and if you should take these on the day of your test. Don’t stop taking any medication without asking your provider.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You’ll undress from the waist up and wear a hospital gown during hemodynamic monitoring. Don’t wear jewelry (including wedding rings) or bring valuables.
Bring the following to your appointment:
The test takes almost three hours to complete. Plan on being at the hospital for up to three hours for your appointment.
Yes. You’ll be awake during the test. Your provider will do everything they can to make you comfortable. Staying as still and quiet as you can allows your provider to get the best images possible.
Your provider will use:
During your hemodynamic monitoring test:
You may not have any symptoms during a hemodynamic monitoring test. However, it’s not unusual to feel light-headed, nauseous or have heart palpitations.
You may feel a chill going up your arm when the radioactive agent goes through your IV. You may also notice a metallic taste in your mouth or a strange smell in your nose. These don’t last long.
It’s important to tell your provider how you feel throughout your test. They can make changes between sets of images to help you feel more comfortable. Your symptoms, along with your test information, will help your provider determine the cause of your condition.
A gamma camera detects the radiation from the tracer you get in your IV. A computer creates a series of images from this information. You may have up to three sets of images (two while lying flat and one while sitting).
After your hemodynamic assessment:
You may have some bruising, redness or swelling in the area where you got your IV. This is common. You may also have pain or discomfort when your provider inserts your IV.
The radioactive isotope isn’t a dye and doesn’t cause any allergic side effects. The amount of radiation used in the test is very low. It’s about the same amount of radiation as you get during a chest X-ray.
Your provider’s report will note if your results were normal or abnormal.
They can also tell you if you had:
Your provider should get the test results within 10 to 14 days.
They’ll use the test results to create your plan of care. You may need to take new or different medications. Also, they may refer you to other providers to help manage your care.
Your provider may order other tests, depending on the results of your hemodynamic assessment.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hemodynamic monitoring can help you find out why you’re having symptoms, such as fainting. Your provider can answer any questions you have about your test. The only pain you may feel during your test is from getting an IV. Your test results will help your provider decide what kind of treatment is best for you.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/10/2022.
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