CARDIAC NUCLEAR STRESS TESTING

Nuclear Stress Test
There are two parts of the test that consist of a REST study and a STRESS study. The rest study will consist of an injection of radioactive tracer through an IV. One hour after injection, images will be taken of your heart by a nuclear gamma camera. The stress test will require ECG leads that are placed on your chest to monitor your heart rate while you walk on a treadmill. Your blood pressure and heart rate will be recorded. If you are unable to walk on a treadmill you will be chemically stressed using a pharmacologic agent. A small dose of radioactive tracer will be injected through and IV in your arm to simulate the heart under exercise conditions. Approximately 60 minutes after the injection, images of your heart will be taken. There are usually no side effects from the injection. However, if you think you are pregnant, please inform the technologist immediately. The test can take up to four hours to complete. After completion the images are then sent and interpreted by a cardiologist.

Preparation:

  • Refrain from ANY caffeine products at least 12 hours prior to exam.
  • Refrain from eating any food the morning of exam.
  • Discontinue any beta-blocker medications 24 hours prior to exam.
  • Diabetic patients should take insulin on regular schedule.
  • Bring a list of current medications.
  • Be aware that nuclear stress exams will take 3-4 hours to complete.
  • Wear comfortable loose fitting clothing and tennis shoes for the exercise treadmill portion.

Stress Echocardiogram
This test shows how well your heart muscle is working to pump blood to your body while at rest and with exercise. It is mainly used to detect a decrease in blood flow to the heart from narrowing in the coronary arteries.

Preparation:

  • Refrain from ANY caffeine products at least 12 hours prior to exam.
  • Refrain from eating any food the morning of exam.
  • Discontinue any beta-blocker medications 24 hours prior to exam.
  • Diabetic patients should take insulin on regular schedule.
  • Bring a list of current medications.
  • Test will take one hour to complete.
  • Wear comfortable loose fitting clothing and tennis shoes for the exercise treadmill portion.