What to Expect: Nuclear Medicine Stress Test | Cedars-Sinai

Hello and thank you for choosing Cedars-Sinai. Your doctor has ordered a

nuclear medicine stress test for you. This video will let you know what to

expect and how to get ready for your exam. The nuclear medicine stress test

shows how well your heart works during physical activity. It also can measure

blood flow to the heart as well as show if the heart has been damaged. There are

a few things you will need to do to get ready for the test.

First, you will not be able to eat for three hours before the exam. Second, you

will not be able to have anything containing caffeine such as coffee tea

or chocolate for 24 hours before the test. Please be aware that decaffeinated

products contain small amounts of caffeine so you cannot drink

decaffeinated coffee either. Your stress test will be done at the taper imaging

department here at Cedars-Sinai. A transporter will come to your room to

take you to imaging. If you can you should go to the restroom before you

leave your room. Any devices used for your care such as an IV, heart monitor,

and oxygen will either be supplied or be brought with you. A family member or a

friend can come with you but must stay in the imaging waiting area until your

exam is done. The transporter will check you in at the pre-scan area. For your

safety, you will be asked the same questions a few times by different

members of the imaging staff. Patients with heart monitors will still be

monitored. We will give you a call light in case you need help. We do many types

of scans and imaging and you may see people come after you and leave before

you. Don't worry we didn't forget about you, these patients may be having an

imaging procedure that is different from yours or it may be an emergency

situation. We will do our best to keep you from waiting but delays can happen.

A member of the imaging staff will move you to your exam room when it's time

your test. Your cardiac imaging team will explain your exam to you and you

will be asked medical questions about your health and your heart history. If

you don't already have an intravenous line, called an IV, it will be put in one

of your arms. There are three parts to this test. Part one is a stress test

which takes about an hour total. A nuclear staff member will place EKG

leads on your chest to monitor your heart. Then, you will either walk slowly

on a treadmill or take medicine to increase the blood flow to your heart

you will be monitored at all times by nuclear medicine staff members. Next to

look at your heart a radioactive tracer will be injected through your IV. The

radioactivity you're exposed to during these tests is very low and will not

hurt you and the information that test gives your doctor far outweighs this

small exposure to radiation. After the stress test and a waiting period, you

will be ready for part 2. During part 2, a special camera will be positioned very

close to your chest and will take pictures of your heart this takes about

45 minutes. Part 3 of the test will look at your heart at rest. A second dose of

radioactive tracer will be injected and another set of pictures will be taken of

your heart, this takes about 30 minutes. In between each part of the test there

will be a waiting period, it will take about four hours to complete all three

parts of the study. Normal responses during testing include shortness of

breath, sweating, and feeling tired. Your safety is important to us and you will

be monitored at all times by nuclear medicine staff members. The tests will be

stopped or changed if it is unsafe for you to continue. When your exam is

complete your technologist will not be able to give you the results your exam

must first be read by a specialized cardiologist within the next day. The

information will then be sent to your doctor who will talk to you about the

results. After your exam, you will be moved to the

post game area before the transporter takes you back to your room.

We hope this video has been helpful to you. If you have any other questions

please ask a member of the imaging team. Thanks for watching