A Nuclear Stress Test is performed to measure the heart’s blood flow and response to external stress. It is best used to diagnose ischemic heart disease which occurs when a certain area of the heart experiences a reduced blood supply. Nuclear stress testing is recommended most in patients who have abnormal ECG’s, strong family history of ischemic heart disease, and hypertension.
A nuclear stress test consists of three parts: images at res, the exercise/treadmill portion, and images post-exercise. Initially, the patient is injected with one dose of a nuclear isotope and then placed under the nuclear camera where images at rest are taken.