Nuclear Stress Testing

Our radiologists are experienced in nuclear medicine. We use nuclear stress tests to measure the flow of blood to your heart both at rest and under stress. In addition to the standard information gathered from a routine exercise stress test, nuclear stress testing can produce images of the problem areas of the heart that are displaying low blood flow, as well as damaged heart muscle.

What to Expect

NuclearStressTesting.jpgPrior to the test a number of electrodes will be placed on your chest, arms and legs, which will then be connected to an ECG or EKG machine to record the electrical signals that trigger your heartbeat. A blood pressure cuff will also be placed on your arm to monitor your blood pressure throughout the test.

We will take two series of images. One set while the patient is exercising on a treadmill or stationary bike. For those who are unable to exercise, a medication will be used to increase blood flow to your heart. The second set will be taken while the patient is resting. Radioactive dye will also be injected into your hand or arm allowing us to capture detailed images of the blood flow of your heart for each stage of testing.

We will use the information gathered to determine how well your heart works during both stages.

Generally, nuclear stress tests are safe, but as with any medical procedure there are some risks, such as an allergic reaction to the radioactive dye injected into your hand/arm, abnormal heart rhythms, low blood pressure and/or heart attack. We will thoroughly discuss all these risks with you before the test.

Patients can return to their normal daily activities immediately following the test.