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PHARMACOLOGICAL NUCLEAR STRESS TEST
What is a Pharmacological Nuclear Stress Test?
A pharmacological Nuclear Stress Test is a test to evaluate your heart’s response to stress.
Instead of walking on a treadmill, in this test, you will be given a pharmaceutical to stress your heart. This pharmaceutical dilates the blood vessels in your heart and simulates the effects of exercise. A radioactive isotope is also administered during the test. Two sets of pictures of your
heart will be taken under a special camera. One set of pictures will image your heart while your heart is “at rest”) and another set of pictures will be taken while your heart is “stressed”. The
pictures will show where and how the radioactive isotope is taken up by the heart muscle, and
will tell the doctor how well blood flows to your heart muscle. Why do I need to have this procedure done?
Your doctor has recommended a Pharmacological Nuclear Stress Test to obtain more information
about the condition of your heart and the blood flow to the heart muscle.
How should I prepare for the procedure?
Do not eat anything after midnight the day before the procedure.
You can drink water the day of the procedure.
Do NOT drink any caffeine or decaffeinated sodas, teas, or coffees for 24 hours before
Do NOT eat any chocolate foods 24 hours prior the test as they contain caffeine.
If you are taking Aggrenox, or Theophylline do not take them the day before the test.
If you are a diabetic please only take ½ your insulin dose the morning of the procedure.
If you are taking Metformin, Glipizide, Actos, Glyburide, Avandia, Glyset, Glucovance,
Metaglip, Prandin, precose or Starlix please discontinue these medications the day of the procedure.
Your doctor will advise you about taking your medications prior to the procedure.
Please do not be late as the materials are timed and made just for you.
Please bring a lunch or snack the day of your procedure.
What can I expect before and during the procedure?
The stress test will be performed in the clinic office. Once you arrive to the clinic, you will sign a consent form to perform the examination. An IV will be placed in your arm. A heart monitor will be placed on your chest and a continuous EKG will be monitored
Your blood pressure, repertory and heart rate will be monitored throughout the test. Our staff will be monitoring you closely before, during, and after the test. The pharmaceutical will be injected through the IV in your arm to “dilate your veins and
arteries” over a short period of time.
During the pharmaceutical administration, you may experience a flushed/warm feeling,
chest tightness, lightheadedness, nausea or other symptoms. This is NOT uncommon and the symptoms will resolve quickly after the medication is finished.
During the administration of the pharmaceutical, the radioactive isotope will be injected.
The entire test (medication injection and 2 sets of pictures) generally takes 3-4 hours. You may bring a snack to eat in the clinic once you are told by the technician it is OK to
Is there anything specific to do after the test?
No, there is nothing specific to do after the test is complete. You may resume your usual
diet, medication and activity level, unless instructed by our staff or your doctor to do
Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you!
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