Nuclear Stress Testing

Nuclear stress testing

Nuclear stress testing, is a non-invasive nuclear, radiation-based imaging procedure used to evaluate for abnormalities in coronary artery blood flow.

Red blood cells traveling through coronary arteries are responsible for delivering oxygen to the heart in order for the heart to function appropriately. Abnormalities, or blockages, in these arteries may exist due to coronary artery disease and impair necessary oxygen from reaching the heart.

This test is used to assist physicians in the diagnosis and management of coronary artery disease.  


Following placement of an IV and injection of a radiated tracer, images of the heart are obtained by using a specialized scanner.  Scanning the heart takes less than 10 minutes. Following the initial scan, the patient's heart is stressed either through exercise or with the administration of a medication to dilate, or expand, the heart arteries.

A resting second scan of the heart is performed. The images obtained from the first and second scans are then compared and interpreted by your physician. Images are able to provide detailed information about the function of the heart, movement of the heart, and blood flow to the heart.

The patient is monitored by electrocardiogram throughout the procedure and the entire procedure is completed within 2-3 hours.

Results of the procedure are typically available within 5 business days