What is a nuclear cardiology stress test?
Nuclear cardiology stress testing is preformed to detect the presence and severity of coronary artery disease (CAD). Nuclear cardiology stress testing is an effective method of evaluating the blood flow to the muscle of the heart under both resting and stressful conditions.
What to expect
Upon arriving for a nuclear cardiology stress test, you will be given an injection of a radioactive tracer through an intravenous (IV) line. The radioactivity exposure is about equal to that of an x-ray. You will then be given time to circulate the tracer before being put under the nuclear imaging camera for images of the heart while at a resting state. After the resting images are taken, you will be hooked up to a heart monitoring system and asked to walk on a treadmill to increase your heart rate. The goal is to get your heart rate up to an optimal circulation level which usually takes between two and twelve minutes, depending on your conditioning. If you are unable to walk on a treadmill the blood flow to your heart can be chemically increased with an injection. While you are finishing up on the treadmill, a second injection of radioactive will be administered. After you are given time to rest and completely circulate the tracer throughout your heart, you will then be put back under the nuclear imaging camera. This set of images shows the result of the tracer circulation while the heart was under stress.
Scheduling a nuclear cardiology stress test
If your primary care physician or cardiologist orders a nuclear cardiology stress test for you, they will initiate the scheduling. Their office will call the appropriate Medicor office to let us know you will need an appointment. A Medicor scheduler will then call you to coordinate a day and time that fits in your schedule. The complete nuclear cardiology stress test will take between three and four hours so please plan accordingly.
A few days before your scheduled nuclear cardiology stress test a Medicor nurse will call you to confirm your appointment and go over the preparation steps you must take. The preparation steps the nurse will go over with you include: