Nuclear Stress Test
A nuclear stress test measures the amount of blood in your heart muscle at rest and during exercise, so we can determine your heart health.
The nuclear stress test may combine a treadmill test with a scan that records pictures of the heart on a computerized gamma camera. We inject the patient with a small dose of a radioactive substance so the camera detects heart muscle function and coronary artery blood flow.
A basic treadmill stress test requires leads on the chest, so we can record an EKG at rest, at peak exercise and afterwards. We also monitor the heart rate, heart rhythm and blood pressure, while looking for changes that suggest that the heart is not receiving enough blood.
If a treadmill test cannot be performed by the patient, an IV medicine can be delivered to provide a momentary pharmacologic stress to the heart while nuclear imaging is performed.
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