Rubidium-82 is a radioactive element that may be used in diagnostic tests of the heart. This element is used in a diagnostic test called a PET scan, in which doctors use radiation to take pictures of how your heart is functioning and determine how much blood the heart receives when it is resting and when it is stressed.
Patients are exposed to radiation when they take this medication and have a PET scan of their heart. This increases the risk that they will develop certain types of cancer, especially if they are overexposed to radiation through an overdose of this medication. All personnel involved with administering this medication should be familiar with its use and with safety concerns related to the medication.
Patients who have had heart failure should not take this medication, as using RB-82 increases the risk of heart failure and heart attack.