Nuclear Stress Test

This test with nuclear isotope is a way to determine if your heart muscle is getting adequate blood supply. This test also helps find out how well your heart is working.

Instructions to the Patient

Do not eat or drink after midnight, the night before the test. Please bring a list of all medications, you are currently taking. Please wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Please ask your physician if you should stop taking any medications prior to the test. Plan for a very long day.

Additional Information

A stress test with nuclear isotope consists of two phases, stress phase and a rest phase. Prior to the exam and IV line will be placed in your arm. This line will be used to inject the nuclear isotope during the stress test. The stress phase: You will be asked to walk on a treadmill during the entire stress exam. The treadmill will speed up and raise in elevation every three minutes. The goal is a target heart rate, which is determined by your age. The nuclear isotope will be injected through the IV line approximately 1 minute before the end of the exercise. Approximately 30 minutes to one hour later a special camera that can detect radiation will take pictures of your heart. This scan will take approximately 15 minutes. The resting phase will occur approximately 2-3 hours after the stress phase. You may leave, eat and return for the resting phase. The resting phase consists of another injection of the nuclear isotope, and a scan 30-60 minutes later. The IV will be removed after the second injection.