Nuclear stress test is an imaging method that uses radioactive material to show how well blood flows into the heart muscle, both at rest and during activity.
When the patient arrives they are first taken to get an IV. A Nuclear Medicine technologist will meet the patient, explain the procedure, and give them an injection of Cardiolite (Sestimibi). The patient will then wait approximately 30 minutes before they are taken for their first set of images, which lasts approximately 12-30 minutes. The patient is then taken to another part of the hospital, where they will wait for their stress portion of the test. Stress staff will get the patient when they are ready. The patient will be hooked up to an EKG and blood pressure monitor. The doctor will then come into the room and the stress will begin.
Treadmill Stress: The patient walks on the treadmill. The speed and grade increases every 3 minutes.
Lexiscan (Regadenoson) Stress: The patient lays or sits while the stress agents are given over a 1 minute time frame.
When the stress is finished the patient is monitored and EKG’s are taken. After the monitoring is complete the patient will then wait in the waiting room for approximately 30 minutes before the patient is taken for the stress imaging (which is approximately 12-30 minutes). The patient is then free to go home and continue their daily routines.