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Nuclear Stress Test

Nuclear Stress Test offered in Tyler and Lindale, TX

Nuclear Stress Test
About Nuclear Stress Test

If you develop shortness of breath or chest pain, especially during exercise, your provider may suggest you undergo a nuclear stress test. At Tyler Internal Medicine Associates P.A. in Tyler and Lindale, Texas, the outstanding specialists provide this service to pinpoint the cause of bothersome symptoms and treat your condition to reduce the risk of complications. Schedule an evaluation at Tyler Internal Medicine Associates P.A. by phone or book one online today.

Nuclear Stress Test Q & A

What is a nuclear stress test?

A nuclear stress test is an imaging procedure that determines how efficiently blood flows to and from your heart at rest and while you exercise. You receive a tiny amount of radioactive material intravenously (IV) before the procedure, allowing an imaging machine to develop images of the movement through your heart’s arteries to detect poor blood flow or heart damage.

What are nuclear stress tests used for?

A Tyler Internal Medicine Associates P.A. provider may suggest you undergo a nuclear stress test if you’re at risk of, or show signs of, the following:

  • Poor blood flow
  • Narrowed blood vessels
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Damaged arteries
  • Heart damage

The procedure determines if you’re at risk of developing a heart attack or other heart or blood vessel disorders.

It also allows your specialist to determine how well a current treatment plan is working and how much exercise is safe for your heart to handle.

How should I prepare for a nuclear stress test?

Following your provider’s instructions before undergoing a nuclear stress test is important. They might ask you to avoid food, drinks, caffeine, and smoking before the scheduled procedure. 

You may also need to stop taking certain medications if they interfere with your test. If you use an inhaler, bring it with you to the stress test. Wear comfortable clothing and exercise shoes, and avoid applying creams or lotions to your skin on the day of a nuclear stress test.

What happens during a nuclear stress test?

Before the test, you receive a radioactive tracer via IV. It may feel cold when the tracer enters your bloodstream through a vein in your arm.

A provider takes two sets of pictures of your heart and blood vessels, one while you’re resting and the other after exercise. Depending on the imaging tests used, the test might last two hours or more.

Your specialist places a cuff on your arm to measure blood pressure and sticky patches on your chest and sometimes your arms or legs to record your heartbeat. As you lie still, your specialist takes the first set of pictures. 

You then ride a stationary bike, walk on a treadmill, or take medicine that increases blood flow to your heart to mimic exercise. Your provider provides an additional radiotracer via your IV and takes a second set of images of your heart to pinpoint areas of the heart that may not have sufficient blood flow.

What should I expect afterward?

After the procedure, your specialist monitors you and reviews the stress test results. They let you know if you’re a candidate for further diagnostic testing or treatment. Drink plenty of water to flush the radiotracer out of your body.

Schedule an evaluation at Tyler Internal Medicine Associates P.A. by phone or book one online today to determine if you’re a candidate for a nuclear stress test.