Nuclear Stress Testing

 Nuclear stress testing assists the doctor in assessing blood flow to your heart muscle.  A radioactive isotope is injected through an IV and acts as a ‘tracer’ by going with your blood cells to the heart muscle. A special camera is used which detects the tracer so that the doctor can see whether there is adequate or diminished blood flow.  The tracer is injected at rest, allowed to circulate, and then imaging is done with the camera to show blood flow at rest.  Then, a second tracer injection is given during the stress portion, allowed to circulate, and then imaging is repeated to show blood flow with stress.  The nuclear stress testing process takes 3-5 hours in total.

Please observe the following the day of and/or prior to your test:

  • Do not eat or drink for at least 6 hours prior to your appointment
  • Do not consume any caffeinated products the morning of the test– this includes coffee, tea, chocolate, and decaf coffee/tea – and limit caffeine the night prior
  • Do not smoke for at least 4 hours prior to your appointment
  • Wear comfortable clothing and sneakers if you are having a walking stress test
  • Do not use powder or lotion on your chest or arms the day of the test
  • Do not wear jewelry, an underwire bra, or metal in the chest area to the test
  • Please bring a sweater or sweatshirt with you as it is sometimes cold in the office
  • We encourage you to bring magazines, books, puzzles, etc.

If you take medications, please review the following:

  • Take all of your usual morning medications with sips of water except those listed below
  • Unless otherwise instructed by the doctor, the following medications should be held the day before and the morning of the test: 

Coreg               Atenolol          Theodur          Cardizem

Corgard           Nadolol          Cartia              Diltiazem        

Lopressor       Inderal           Tenormin       Tiazac

Metoprolol      Theophylline   Verapamil     Imdur

Toprol              Ismo                 Carvedilol      Bystolic

  • Do not apply Nitroglycerin patch the morning of the procedure
  • Do not take diabetic medication the morning of the procedure and reduce any long-acting insulin by half the night before
  • Do not take Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, or Vigromax for 72 hours prior to testing
  • Contact our office with any questions regarding medication

If you need to cancel or change your appointment time, please notify the office 48 hours in advance.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding nuclear stress testing, please feel free to contact our office at (973)889-9001.