What is Involved in a Nuclear Stress Test?

If you are unsure or never heard about nuclear stress test, then you ought to possess the required information on the same subject so that you will benefit in the future. With the help of the nuclear stress test, it is feasible to study the flow of blood to different parts of the heart. It measures the variation when you are at rest, and when you are performing highly strenuous activities such as exercising, where the heart requires an increased amount of oxygen.

What is Involved in a Nuclear Stress Test?

The importance of nuclear stress test lies within the procedure. As it helps in finding the blockages of the blood during strenuous activities, a cardiologist will have an accurate detail about the functionality. It will further display the region that is making it impossible for the heart to receive its share of oxygen through the smooth flow of blood.

There are cases where a patient suffering from coronary artery diseases shows similar symptoms, as it obstructs the artery and diminishes the flow of blood. Such a situation leads to pain in the chest, wheezing and gasping for oxygen, and in rare cases, death due to a heart attack. The blockage in such a situation is due to accumulation of cholesterol.

The nuclear stress test will provide clear evidence related to the heart and its condition.

Who is Eligible to Take the Nuclear Stress Test?

People who are prone to heart ailments and those who underwent a recent heart surgery are the ones that often require the nuclear stress test. Nevertheless, those with chest pain can also participate to ensure that there are no prevailing heart conditions. The nuclear stress test will help in calculating the heart rhythm and ensure that everything is functioning properly when the human system is at rest and during intense activities too.

What Happens in the Nuclear Stress Test?

In a nuclear stress test, the doctor injects a radioactive dye. Before injecting it and asking the patient to attend the nuclear stress test, there are regulations that one must follow. The doctor will provide complete information on this aspect, as it is crucial for the results obtained through the nuclear stress test. Normally, the physician asks the patient to arrive at the laboratory without eating or drinking anything. A two or three-hour gap is the best excellent choice.

For a diabetic patient, it is necessary to consult their doctor and speak about the nuclear stress test. They will decide the amount of dosage that they can intake the day before the nuclear stress test so as to prevent any interference with the nuclear stress test activity.

Once these things are ready, the doctor will begin the process by attaching electrode patches to the chest to monitor the impulses created by the heart. The first phase records the impulses when the patient is at rest.

The second phase is the stress test, where the patient participates in an exercise on an inclined treadmill or stand-alone cycle. He/she will begin slowly while the technician will continue to monitor the activity. The doctor will ask to increase the speed and maintain at a superior level until one shows signs of dizziness or weakness. There is a record of the impulses created during this period too.

Next in the nuclear stress test, the doctor will inject the dye, and perform an X-ray to see the area where there is a blockage. The process will help in eliminating whether the individual is suffering from inducible ischemia or coronary artery disease. Based on the results, the doctor will prescribe the treatment, which involves making changes to lifestyle and food habits. Following them will display a drastic improvement in overall health.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 18, 2017

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