WHAT IS A NUCLEAR MEDICINE CARDIAC STRESS TEST?
Nuclear medicine (NM) is a subspecialty within the field of radiology that uses very small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose or treat disease and other abnormalities within the body.
Nuclear medicine imaging procedures are noninvasive and usually painless tests that help physicians diagnose medical conditions. These imaging scans use radioactive materials called a radiopharmaceutical or radiotracer.
Cardiac nuclear medicine stress tests provide diagnostic information about the function of the heart. This is possible when a radioactive tracer is injected into a vein allowing visualization of the heart muscle. Pictures are then taken prior to exercise (rest) and after exercise (stress).
Cardiac stress tests are particularly helpful in diagnosing coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD is the presence of blockages in the coronary arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. CAD is the most common type of heart disease and is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.
PREPARING FOR A NUCLEAR MEDICINE CARDIAC (STRESS) TEST
You may be asked to wear a gown during the exam or you may be allowed to wear your own clothing.
Women should always inform their physician or technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant or if they are breastfeeding their baby.
You should inform your physician of any medications you are taking as well as vitamins and herbal supplements and if you have any allergies.
Jewelry and other accessories should be left at home if possible, or removed prior to the exam because they may interfere with the procedure.
Our imaging department seeks to provide your physician with the diagnostic tools needed to pinpoint an injury or illness, and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Our experienced staff works together to provide quality medical imaging services in a comfortable and convenient setting.