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A cardiac nuclear stress test is a non-invasive way to diagnose coronary artery disease. By injecting a small amount of radioactive substance through an IV, radiologists can observe your heart working in real time. The test can reveal narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels leading to the heart. You should be prepared to spend 3 to 4 hours at the radiology facility for this test. There are two parts of the test — a rest component performed first, followed by the “stress” portion when you will exercise on a treadmill, if you are capable. You will receive an injection before each segment of the test and it takes 30 to 60 minutes for each injection to distribute throughout the heart. Each of the two scans takes 30 minutes to acquire
NOTE: If there is any possibility that you are pregnant or if you are nursing, please speak with your referring healthcare practitioner before your scheduled appointment.
Preparing for a Cardiac Stress Test
- Please do not eat or drink 3 to 4 hours prior to the test. No caffeine is allowed 24 hours prior to your exam. Since even decaffeinated beverages such as decaf coffee and tea carry a small amount of caffeine, they should also be avoided. Water is acceptable.
- You may be asked to temporarily stop taking certain medications before the test. Please discuss your current medications with your healthcare provider and also let our technologist know when you arrive.
- Since you will be exercising on a treadmill, it will help to wear comfortable clothing and footwear.