An Inside Look Into a Nuclear Stress Test

 A nuclear stress test shows how blood flows to your heart at rest and during exercise. Your doctor can perform nuclear stress testing Port Saint Lucie after a regular exercise stress test, or it can be the first test used. A nuclear stress test is often done to diagnose and monitor heart problems like coronary artery disease by showing blood flow to your heart. If you have coronary artery disease, your doctor can use a nuclear stress test to determine how well the treatment works. Read on to learn more about this type of stress test.

What to do before a nuclear stress test?

Your healthcare provider will give you detailed information on preparing for the nuclear stress test. You will receive instructions regarding food, medications, clothing, and personal items. For example, your doctor may ask that you refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking for some time before the test. You want to avoid caffeine a day before and on the day of your test. Because some medications can interfere with the test results, your doctor will require that you write a list of all your medications. You may need to discontinue using some; ensure you talk to your healthcare provider before you stop your medicines. Bring an inhaler to the test if you use it for asthma or other breathing problems.

On the day of your nuclear test, wear or carry comfortable clothing and walking shoes, and don’t apply lotion, cream, or oil on your skin. Before the test, your doctor will review your medical history and ask about how often and actively you exercise to set safe limits for your exercise.

What to expect during a nuclear stress test

A specialized technician or doctor will insert an IV line into your arm to inject the radiotracer into your bloodstream. The substance feels cold when it enters your arm, and it takes a few minutes before your heart cells absorb it. You will lie still on a flat surface as your doctor takes your heart’s first set of images. For the next part of the test, you will walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike. If you cannot exercise, your doctor will intravenously administer medication that increases blood flow to the heart.

When your heart rate peaks, your doctor administers more radiotracer through your IV and takes a second set of images of your heart. You’ll keep exercising until your heart rate reaches a specific goal, but you can stop exercising anytime you are uncomfortable.

What happens after a nuclear stress test?

After the exercise, you will stand still for some seconds, then lie down briefly as your healthcare provider monitors your heartbeat and breathing. Unless your doctor advises otherwise, you can resume your normal activities after the test. After the test, you need to drink plenty of water to help flush out the radioactive tracer from your system.

If you have questions about a nuclear stress test, consult your doctor at TLC Medical Group Inc.

Category Health

Skye Marshall

Ivy Skye Marshall: Ivy, a social justice reporter, covers human rights issues, social movements, and stories of community resilience.