Medicine Stress Test or Myocardial
What is a Nuclear
Stress Test and why would your doctor
order this test? A nuclear stress
test is used by doctors to diagnose
heart disease. If your doctor
wants you to have a nuclear stress test,
you may have symptoms of heart disease
or certain risk factors for it.
Not everyone who has a stress test has
heart disease. Your test results
can help your doctor determine if you
have disease or if you may be at risk
for a heart attack.
This test will help
your doctor determine:
If your heart is receiving
If you have coronary artery
What is coronary artery
Coronary artery disease is a type of
heart disease and occurs when the
arteries that carry blood to the heart
become clogged with fatty deposits
(plaque). These buildups can clog
the vessels, reducing the amount of
blood that flows to your heart.
When that happens, more serious problems
can develop, including:
Chest pain, or angina
Changes in your heart rhythm
What happens during a nuclear
The test has
Step 1. Rest Images-
First you will have an I.V. started,
then the nuclear technologist will
inject a small radioactive tracer
through your I.V. After a short
wait the Tech will take you to the
imaging area where pictures are taken of
Step 2. Stress Test-
The heart is stressed by one of two
methods; treadmill stress or use
of a medication.
Treadmill Stress: If
able, you will exercise on a treadmill
until your heart reaches a certain point
of exertion based upon your age.
Medication Stress: If
unable to walk on a treadmill they might
use a medication called Lexiscan.
With the use of this medication, your
arteries are dilated. Once they
are dilated a small amount of
radioactive tracer is injected and
target or bond to the parts of the heart
that have the best blood flow.
Step 3. Stress Images-
Similar to the rest images, you will
have more images taken after exercise.
These images will show if any part of
the heart is not getting enough blood
The two sets of images will be
compared. The first images show
the heart during normal function (at
rest). The second set of images
show the heart function during exercise.
A healthy heart will have little or no
difference between the stress and rest
images. A heart with a partially
blocked artery will show a difference
between the stress and rest.
Talk to your physician for more
information about Nuclear Stress Tests
or contact Mary Clark, RN for a free