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Treadmill Nuclear Stress Test
Our state-of-the-art Nuclear Stress Test Lab has the seal of approval which means that you as a patient are assured of the highest standards & quality of diagnostic testing.
What is a nuclear stress test?
A nuclear Stress Test is very similar to a routine Treadmill Stress Test, but is able to provide images using a radioactive isotope. There are two sets of images – one set during an exercise stress test while you’re exercising on a treadmill, or with medication that stresses your heart, and another while you’re at rest. The doctor will then compare the two images to detect any heart muscle damage and/or blockages in the coronary arteries supplying oxygen rich blood to the heart muscle.
Why do I need a nuclear stress test?
Your doctor will recommend a Nuclear stress Test if you are experiencing Chest Pain or Shortness Of Breath. A Nuclear Stress Test can determine with 95% accuracy if your symptoms are related to any plaque or blockages in the arteries. A Regular Stress Test has only a 65% accuracy of diagnosing patients with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).
The Nuclear Stress Test will also help show the doctor the ejection fraction or the pumping capacity of your heart. A normal ejection fraction ranges between 50-70 percent. A lower ejection fraction may suggest a problem with the heart valve, damage during a Heart Attack, Cardiomyopathy (weakened heart muscle), Uncontrolled Blood Pressure, Myocardial Ischemia or other heart disease.
Based on the results of your test, the doctor will determine an appropriate treatment plan for you.
If you have been already diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Arrhythmia, or other Heart Disease then the Nuclear Stress Test will show the doctor the efficacy of the treatment plan he has ordered for you.
How long will the test take?
The Nuclear Stress Test is a two part study. Both parts will be done on the same day unless you have time constraints. Depending on the patient load on the day of your testing, it could take 2 -3 hours from the time you are prepped by the nuclear technologist.
In order to diagnose & treat your heart condition without any delays we will perform your test on the same day as your visit. Please factor in the time taken for your normal doctor visit and any insurance authorization for diagnostic testing while planning your day. We recommend that you do not schedule any other appointments on the day of your visit.
What are the risks?
Generally, Nuclear Stress Tests are considered safe with rare complications. Most complications if and when they do occur are temporary and will go away within a short time span. Your doctor will be by your side if any situation were to arise during the test.
How quickly will I get results and what will it mean?
Normally the processing of the test will take a few days. You will be given an appointment to see the doctor for your results. However, if during your test the performing technician detects any gross abnormalities then your doctor will be notified immediately. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may recommend further testing such as a CT scan or Cardiac Catheterization. If there are blockages in your arteries they will be confirmed with 100% accuracy by a Cardiac Catheterization and treated with angioplasty, stents, or bypass surgery.
If you are a patient with known CAD, the study will confirm that you are in a stable condition or that a new blockage is developing. The results of the test will influence your doctor’s decision to start you on a medication or change your current medication.
Can I get my results over the phone?
Medical guidelines dictate that the results of diagnostic tests be discussed and a treatment plan be made only by a Physician, Nurse Practitioner, or other similarly qualified medical personnel. This is best done in an office setting during your visit.
If your situation needs special consideration for a discussion over the phone, please call our office and a staff member will assist you to make appropriate arrangements.
How do I prepare for the nuclear stress test?
Please read the instructions carefully. Click here to download the instructions » (You may print this page)