A nuclear stress test is a procedure that checks the blood flow to the heart and also how well your heart is beating. You will receive a small, safe amount of radioactive medication that circulates to the heart muscle. A special camera is used to measure how well this medication spreads throughout the heart.
What You Can Expect During The Nuclear Stress Test
The nuclear stress test is normally done in one day and
can take two to three hours.
The test may need to be scheduled over two days if
you weigh more than 240 lbs.
A small tube (IV) will be placed in the vein of your arm.
Your heart rate will be monitored and your blood pressure
will be checked frequently throughout the test.
You may be asked to exercise on a treadmill or in some
cases a medication will be given to stress your heart.
Two sets of pictures will be taken of your heart.† One with your
heart at rest and the other after your heart has been stressed.
You will be asked to lie very still on a table for 20 minutes,
while a camera rotates around you.
Your left arm will be placed above your head on a pillow and
a cushion will be placed under your knees for your comfort.
We ask that you stay awake while the pictures are being taken. (Snoring and deep breathing of sleep can distort the pictures.)