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.)
We Will Be Unable To Perform Your Test If
- There is a chance you are pregnant
- You are breastfeeding