Nuclear Stress Tests (Non-walking)
While exercise stress testing is a great way to evaluate cardiac abnormalities, many people are unable to exercise on a treadmill. In those situations, we utilize nuclear stress tests to evaluate the blood flow to the heart and to evaluate heart function. The test involves using medicine which simulates exercise on the heart, and nuclear imaging is used to measure blood flow to the heart.
The procedure entails starting an intravenous line followed by giving a small dose of nuclear medicine which binds the heart muscle. Pictures are taken with a camera while you are laying down. Afterwards you are placed on monitors for your heart electrical activity and blood pressure and then given a medication which simulates stress on the heart. Afterwards a second set of pictures are taken. The whole test takes about 2 hours.