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Nuclear Stress Test

Nuclear Stress StudyInformation about This Test

This procedure evaluates heart function and measures blood flow to the heart to assess for evidence of blockages.

How Long Does This Procedure Take

  • This device take 3.5 to 4 hours although there are periods of time (~30-45 minutes) where you will be sent to eat, read or watch TV during the study.
  •  You will be asked to walk on a treadmill to stress the heart. If you are unable to walk, we may administer a medication to simulate exercise and ask you to march in place or swing your legs to help distribute the medication.
  •  During exercise we will administer nuclear material through an IV which travels in the blood and highlights blood flow to the arteries in the heart.
  •  The amount of radiation exposure from the study is equivalent to spending a couple of hours in the sun or one CT scan, and the radiation lasts only hours in the body before disappearing.

What Preparation is Required Prior To This Procedure

  • We ask that you do not eat or drink after 10:00 pm the night before your test and avoid caffeine and even decaffeinated beverages after 8:00 pm the night before.
  •  You usually can take all of your medications as normally prescribed, although we may suggest holding insulin if you will be fasting for a period of time.
  •   If you are diabetic, we suggest you bring your glucometer (blood sugar meter) with you so that we can monitor your blood sugar during the test.
  •  If you are diabetic, we recommend eating something with peanut butter, soy “No Nut” butter, or a similar source of slow released sugar and protein the night before your test to keep your sugar up since you will be fasting.
  •  You should arrive in clothing that you would feel comfortable walking on a treadmill in.
  •  Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled procedure time on the day of the procedure.

Who Performs and Who Interprets This Procedure

  • This procedure is performed by a nuclear medicine technologist and a cardiac nurse.
  • The procedure is interpreted by a Cardiologist certified in Nuclear Cardiology.

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