What is it?
A nuclear stress test is a study that allows your physician to see images of your heart while it is at rest and after you exercise. The study provides your doctor with information about how well the heart is pumping blood, whether or not it has any damaged tissue, and it also gives information about your heart’s chambers and your arteries.
What to expect
Like an exercise stress test, small pads called electrodes will be placed on your chest and back. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiogram machine with wires called leads. Once all the electrodes are in place you will be asked to walk on a treadmill.
When this part of the test is complete, you will be given an injection of a radioactive substance. It is not harmful to your body or to your organs. You will then have pictures of your heart taken with a gamma-ray camera which is able to detect traces of the radioactive material in your body and send the images to a monitor.
When this part of the test is complete you may leave the testing center for a few hours, but you cannot eat or drink anything containing caffeine, such as chocolate, coffee, tea or soda. When you return, you will again be injected with a radioactive substance and another set of pictures will be taken with a gamma-ray camera. This set of pictures will show your heart at rest.
When the test is over, you may resume all your normal activities without any restrictions.
When will I get the results of my study?
Usually test results will be reviewed with you during your follow-up visit with your doctor or over the phone. In some cases, your physician may contact you if any significant findings are found.
If you are confused or concerned about the results, don’t hesitate to call our office. Our staff will be happy to help answer your questions.
Information courtesy of http://www.texasheartinstitute.org/HIC/Topics/Diag/dinuc.cfm