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    • Nuclear heart test

      • A nuclear stress test uses radioactive dye and an imaging machine to create pictures showing the blood flow to your heart. The test measures blood flow while you are at rest and are exerting yourself, showing areas with poor blood flow or damage in your heart.
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  2. Nuclear stress test - Mayo Clinic › tests-procedures › nuclear
    • Overview
    • Why It's Done
    • Risks
    • What You Can Expect
    • Results

    A nuclear stress test uses radioactive dye and an imaging machine to create pictures showing the blood flow to your heart. The test measures blood flow while you are at rest and are exerting yourself, showing areas with poor blood flow or damage in your heart. The test usually involves injecting radioactive dye, then taking two sets of images of your heart — one while you're at rest and another after exertion. A nuclear stress test is one of several types of stress tests that may be performed alone or in combination. Compared with an exercise stress test, a nuclear stress test can help better determine your risk of a heart attack or other cardiac event if your doctor knows or suspects that you have coronary artery disease.

    You may need a nuclear stress test if a routine stress test didn't pinpoint the cause of symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath. A nuclear stress test may also be used to guide your treatment if you've been diagnosed with a heart condition. Your doctor may recommend a nuclear stress test to: 1. Diagnose coronary artery disease. Your coronary arteries are the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients. Coronary artery disease develops when these arteries become damaged or diseased — usually due to a buildup of deposits containing cholesterol and other substances (plaques). If you have symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath, a nuclear stress test can help determine if you have coronary artery disease and how severe the condition is. 2. Guide treatment of heart disorders.If you've been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, a nuclear stress test can help your doctor find out how well treatment is working. It may also be used to...

    A nuclear stress test is generally safe, and complications are rare. As with any medical procedure, there is a risk of complications, including: 1. Allergic reaction.Though rare, you could be allergic to the radioactive dye that's injected during a nuclear stress test. 2. Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).Arrhythmias brought on during a stress test usually go away shortly after you stop exercising or the medication wears off. Life-threatening arrhythmias are rare. 3. Heart attack (myocardial infarction).Although extremely rare, it's possible that a nuclear stress test could cause a heart attack. 4. Dizziness or chest pain.These symptoms can occur during a stress test. Other possible signs and symptoms include nausea, shakiness, headache, flushing, shortness of breath and anxiety. These signs and symptoms are usually mild and brief, but tell your doctor if they occur. 5. Low blood pressure.Blood pressure may drop during or immediately after exercise, possibly causing you to feel d...

    A nuclear stress test may be performed in combination with an exercise stress test, in which you walk on a treadmill. If you aren't able to exercise, you'll receive a drug through an IV that mimics exercise by increasing blood flow to your heart. A nuclear stress test can take two or more hours, depending on the radioactive material and imaging tests used.

    Your doctor will discuss your nuclear stress test results with you. Your results could show: 1. Normal blood flow during exercise and rest.You may not need further tests. 2. Normal blood flow during rest, but not during exercise.Part of your heart isn't receiving enough blood when you're exerting yourself. This might mean that you have one or more blocked arteries (coronary artery disease). 3. Low blood flow during rest and exercise.Part of your heart isn't getting enough blood at all times, which could be due to severe coronary artery disease or a previous heart attack. 4. Lack of radioactive dye in parts of your heart.Areas of your heart that don't show the radioactive dye have tissue damage from a heart attack. If you don't have enough blood flow through your heart, you may need to undergo coronary angiography. This test looks directly at the blood vessels supplying your heart. If you have severe blockages, you may need a coronary intervention (angioplasty and stent placement) or...

  3. Nuclear Heart Scan | NHLBI, NIH › health-topics › nuclear-heart-scan

    A nuclear heart scan is an imaging test that uses special cameras and a radioactive substance called a tracer to create pictures of your heart. The test can detect problems with blood flow in the heart tissue and can diagnose ischemic heart disease. It can also assess how well your heart pumps blood to your body.

  4. What to Expect: Nuclear Stress Test • MyHeart .net › articles › nuclear-stress-test

    Jul 12, 2019 · A nuclear stress test is a minimally invasive diagnostic imaging procedure designed to evaluate the perfusion of blood through the coronary arteries to the heart muscle. Images of the heart are acquired when the heart is in a baseline resting state and again after the heart has been exercised, or stressed .

  5. Nuclear Stress Test: Uses, Side Effects, Procedure, Results › nuclear-stress-test
    • Purpose of Test
    • Risks and Contraindications
    • Before The Test
    • During The Test
    • After The Test
    • Interpreting Results
    • Frequently Asked Questions
    • A Word from Verywell

    The nuclear stress test is most often performed to help diagnose whether coronary artery disease is the cause of unexplained symptoms, especially episodes of chest pain or dyspnea. If coronary artery blockages are present, this test can also help the doctor judge the severity of the blockages.1 In people who are already known to have coronary artery disease, the nuclear stress test is often also quite helpful in developing an optimal treatment plan. People who are being treated for coronary artery disease, whether with medication or a stent, will often have nuclear stress testing both to help judge the effectiveness of the therapy, and to get the information needed to provide objective advice about daily activities and exercise. What the Test Assesses The idea of nuclear stress testing is to create two images of how blood is being distributed to the cardiac muscle—one during rest, and one during exercise. Normally, the blood should be evenly distributed to the heart muscle both at...

    When it is performed by experienced personnel, the nuclear stress test is quite safe. Still, there are known risks, which include:2 1. Cardiac arrhythmias: Exercise-induced heart arrhythmiasmay occur. These are rarely dangerous, and almost always disappear when the exercise stops. Furthermore, while these arrhythmias are indeed considered a risk of stress testing, detecting them also has diagnostic value. Finally, if potentially dangerous arrhythmias are produced by modest exercise, it is better to find out about them in a controlled environment than out on the street. 2. Chest pain, dizziness, or other symptoms: In people with significant coronary artery disease, modest amounts of exercise can produce symptoms associated with cardiac ischemia(that is, insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle). Again, while symptoms like these are considered a risk of this test, it is often useful to reproduce such exercise-associated symptoms during the test, in order to determine whether they...

    Knowing these details can help ease any anxiety you have about this test. Timing and Location Your doctor will discuss with you when and where the test will be performed. Most nuclear stress tests are performed in a hospital outpatient area. You will probably be asked to show up at least 30 minutes before the scheduled test and can expect to be there for at least four hours. What to Wear Since you will be probably walking on a treadmill or riding an exercise bike, you should bring comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and comfortable shoes. Many people will bring gym clothing with them, along with walking or running shoes. Most testing facilities offer a convenient place to change out of (and back into) your street clothing. Food and Drink You will be asked to avoid food, drink, and smoking for 4 to 6 hours before your test. It is also important to avoid caffeine for at least 24 hours before the test. Medications You should ask your doctor which of your prescription medications you sh...

    Pre-Test After you arrive for testing, you will be interviewed by one of the healthcare team to see whether your symptoms or medical condition has changed since you last saw your doctor, and you will have a quick physical exam. You will also be instructed once again as to what to expect during the test and will be given an opportunity to ask any additional questions you may have. Throughout the Test All testing should be directly supervised by a physician, and the doctor conducting the test should clearly identify him/herself. To make the resting cardiac image, a technician will insert an intravenous line into one of your veins, and a small amount of the radioactive tracer will be injected. After about 20 minutes, you will be lying down under a gamma camera for 15 to 20 minutes while an image is made that shows how blood is being distributed to your heart muscle. While you are under the gamma camera, you will need to keep your arms up above your head, and you will have to lie still....

    Most people are instructed to resume their normal meals, medications, and activities immediately after the study is ended. The amount of radiation you receive with nuclear stress testing is considered very small, and there are no special precautions you will need to take in this regard. Testing centers vary on how the results of nuclear stress testing are communicated to the patient. Most laboratories will give you some indication of the results right away, at least to the extent of telling you whether the study has shown findings of immediate concern. If so, you will be given advice on what to do next. Most often, however, the test is not immediately alarming, and formal results will not be available until the images are officially reviewed by a cardiologist. In this case, you will be instructed to contact your referring doctor for the results and to discuss what, if anything, should be the next steps. Managing Side Effects Except for a bit of fatigue from performing the exercise,...

    The nuclear stress test is aimed at measuring whether blood flow to all areas of the heart muscle is sufficient, both during rest and during exercise. While the interpretation of the resting and exercise images has to be individualized, and while you will need to talk to your own doctor about the specific findings of the test in your own case, in general, the results of a nuclear stress test fall into three categories. 1. Both the resting and exercise cardiac images are normal. This result suggests, first, that no permanent heart damage from a prior heart attack is detectable (because the resting scan is normal); and second, that no area of heart muscle is being deprived of blood flow during exercise (because the exercise scan is normal). This result would strongly suggest that no significant coronary artery blockages are present. Based on these results, your doctor will suggest which next steps, if any, are recommended. If your nuclear stress test is normal (in which case, congratu...

    Can I take my regular medications before a nuclear stress test?

    Not unless your doctor okays it. You may need to stop taking certain medications prior to the test.6 For instance, your doctor may tell you not to take beta blockers, nitroglycerin, or heart medications for 24 hours before the test. You may also need to stop aspirin or blood thinnersand asthma medications 48 hours before. Diabetes medication may also be restricted. Review all your medications with your doctor beforehand.

    Is the radiation in a nuclear stress test safe?

    The dosage should be safe. However, because there is direct exposure to radiation, there is a risk of cancer for anyone who undergoes a nuclear stress test. The American Heart Association and other organizations have created guidelines to help doctors determine if the test is medically necessary, which means that the risk of cancer is outweighed by the benefit you can gain from having a potential heart problem properly diagnosed.7

    How long will radioactivity from a nuclear stress test stay in my system?

    Within a day, the radiotracer will lose its radioactivity through natural decay. You should pass it via urine or stool, but drinking water can help wash it out.8

    Nuclear stress testing is a generally safe and effective noninvasive method of assessing whether significant blockages in the coronary arteries are present​ and whether such blockages are responsible for symptoms such as chest pain, or have already produced permanent heart muscle damage. This kind of testing has proven to be quite valuable in diagnosing coronary artery disease, and in helping to guide its treatment.

  6. Nuclear Cardiology Tests | Heart Care | Intermountain Healthcare › services › heart-care

    Nuclear cardiology tests measure the amount of blood flow to the heart muscle. Doctors use these tests to diagnose and assess coronary artery disease and cardiac ischemia (decreased blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle). These tests are also called heart perfusion imaging tests or cardiac nuclear stress scans.

  7. Nuclear Cardiac Stress Test (1 and 2 Day Imaging) › nuclear-cardiac-stress

    A Nuclear Cardiac Stress test is a specialized test. A very small amount of a radioactive tracer is given in an IV. A radioactive tracer is given to see the flow of blood through the chambers of the heart and heart muscle. Images are taken when the radioactive tracer is carried within the blood through the heart and heart muscle.

  8. Nuclear stress test: Benefits and side effects › articles › 265579

    Feb 22, 2018 · A nuclear stress test uses a small amount of radioactive substance to determine the health of the heart and blood flow to the heart. The test aims to find out whether any areas of the heart muscle...

    • Yvette Brazier
  9. 8 Things the Nuclear Stress Test Tells You About Your Heart ... › FastFeatures › nuclear-stress-test
    • The test determines if the heart is getting enough blood flow and oxygen while a patient performs physical activity, under stress.
    • It can tell if a person is at risk for heart disease or other related complications.
    • It may detect the cause of angina or worsening chest pain.
    • The test identifies enlargement of the heart.
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