What is Nuclear Stress Testing

Nuclear Stress Testing combines a regular stress test with the powerful tool of nuclear imaging.                                                                                                                                                         The stress portion of the test may be similar to that done during regular stress testing(on a treadmill) or it may be a medication induced stress test with persantine or lexiscan (medications that are given through an IV.)                                                                                  Nuclear pictures of the heart are taken before and after exercising.  Abnormalities in these pictures tell us if there is a blockage in the arteries that supply the heart.  It can even tell you if you have had a heart attack in the past   The test will also calculate an "ejection fraction" which is a measure of how well the heart is pumping.                                                                   Before the test                                                                                     No smoking or caffeine for 24hrs before the test. See the detailed instructions that can be printed out below.                                                                                                                                                      During Your Stress Test                                                                              Electrodes are placed on your chest and stomach to connect you to the EKG machine.   The technician will show you how to walk on the treadmill.  At first it is very easy.  As the test goes on. the speed and incline will increase.  Try to walk as long as possible.  The longer you go, the more reliable the results will be.  When you think you can only go one more minute, let the physician know so that the nuclear injection can be given.  After the injection you will be asked to walk one more minute.                                                      During the test your EKG and blood pressure will be monitored.  Be sure to report any symptoms such as chest arm, or jaw pain, severe shortness of breath, fatigue or dizziness,  leg cramps or soreness.    Never stop walking suddenly or jump off the treadmill as serious injury can result.  If you need to stop notify the physician and he will slow down or stop the treadmill.                                                                                                                                             Persantine or Lexiscan Cardiolite                                                                      This is performed for patients that can not walk on the treadmill.     An IV medication is given (either persantine or lexiscan) that takes the place of having to walk.   This then allows the "stress portion" of the test to be performed.