The test can be done while the patient is resting or doing exercise. The radioactive substance that is injected into the patient is called a radionuclide. The test takes about 3 to 4 hours . Although the patient is exposed to a small amount of radiation, the test is considered safe.
In this case, a chemical stress test is used. This test is often used to help your doctor: Determine if you have a heart condition causing your chest pain. Determine if arteries to the heart have blockages or narrowing— coronary artery disease.
The chemical response is similar to the response caused by exercise. Through your IV, a chemical called Lexiscan will be injected. You may feel similar to what you would feel if you were exercising. You may feel a shortness of breath, headache, flushing, chest discomfort or chest pain, or dizziness.
Medication Summary Adenosine , dipyridamole ( Persantine ), and dobutamine are the most widely available pharmacologic agents for stress testing. Regadenoson , an adenosine analog, has a longer half-life than adenosine , and therefore a bolus versus continuous administration.
You will not be allowed to eat or drink until the medicine used to numb your throat wears off. This usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. You may not drive yourself home after your test . Before coming for your test , arrange for someone to take you home afterwards.
Risks Allergic reaction. Though rare, you could be allergic to the radioactive dye that’s injected during a nuclear stress test. Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). Heart attack (myocardial infarction). Dizziness or chest pain. Low blood pressure.
An EKG costs about $50, and an exercise stress test costs $175 or more.
This severe narrowing is what causes the severe chest pain called angina. But normal results from a stress test do not rule out the possibility of a future heart attack. This is because a plaque can still rupture, form clots and block an artery. Heart attacks often result from these smaller blockages that rupture.
Results of a head-to-head comparison study led by Johns Hopkins researchers show that noninvasive CT scans of the heart’s vessels are far better at spotting clogged arteries that can trigger a heart attack than the commonly prescribed exercise stress that most patients with chest pain undergo.
Bottom line: In a study where every patient gets the same gold standard, the accuracy of stress test is poor, with sensitivity and specificity both less than 80%.
Caffeine can alter the test results. Do not eat chocolate or drink coffee, tea, soda, colas or other caffeinated beverages such Mountain Dew or energy drinks. If you are unsure, do not drink it.
Injecting the radioactive tracer does not hurt . For the stress test you will have EKG leads placed on your chest and you will be monitored closely. You may walk on a treadmill, ride a bike or receive a medicine. All these will increase your heart rate to stress your heart.
A pharmacological nuclear stress test is a diagnostic test used to evaluate blood flow to the heart. During the test , a small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into a vein. A special camera, called a gamma camera, detects the radiation released by the tracer to produce computer images of the heart.
How long does the injection stay in my system? The nuclear imaging agent is out of your system within 60 hours , but it is always decaying so it becomes minimal in a relatively short period of time.
a mild sedative . If you are already taking a mild sedative , please bring them with you . If not, you may want to consider contacting your primary care physician who can prescribe the appropriate sedative for the exam .