Nuclear Stress Test

Nuclear Stress Test

Nuclear Stress Test services offered in Venice, Sarasota, Bradenton and Ellenton, FL

A nuclear stress test is an effective alternative if a routine EKG can’t detect your heart symptoms’ cause. Barry Weckesser, MD, and Amy Kinter, NP, at The Heart Institute of Venice in Venice, Florida, specialize in using nuclear materials in small, safe quantities to enhance stress testing results for a more accurate diagnosis. Call The Heart Institute of Venice for more details on nuclear stress testing’s uses or request an appointment online today.

Nuclear Stress Test Q & A

What is a nuclear stress test?

Nuclear stress testing analyses heart function. It involves recording your heart’s electrical activity while resting and during controlled exercise.

Performing nuclear stress testing enables your cardiologist to identify abnormal heart function and structure. They can assess blood flow and heart muscle function and identify cardiac disorders like arrhythmia (heartbeat that’s too slow, fast, and/or irregular) and ischemia (reduced blood flow).

When would I need to complete nuclear stress testing?

Your cardiologist might recommend nuclear stress testing at The Heart Institute of Venice if you have cardiac symptoms that other diagnostic procedures can’t identify.

Nuclear stress tests are also highly effective at diagnosing early-stage cardiovascular disease before you develop symptoms. If you’ve got risk factors like a family history of heart disease, a nuclear stress test detects problems soon enough for preventive measures and lifestyle changes to reduce your chance of heart trouble in the future.

How does nuclear stress testing work?

Nuclear stress tests use tiny amounts of radioactive materials. This might sound alarming, as radioactive substances can be lethal, but the procedure is safe with the small doses The Heart Institute of Venice uses.

The radioactive material circulates in your blood, emitting signals that special cameras detect. The result is highly detailed images showing your heart’s structure and function.

What happens when I undergo nuclear stress testing?

A nuclear stress test is noninvasive apart from the radioactive material injection. Most patients tolerate it well with no adverse effects, and The Heart Institute of Venice prioritizes patient safety and comfort.

Before the procedure, you receive a radioactive tracer injection. It enters your bloodstream through a needle and flexible tube (cannula) in an arm vein. Patients often report the material feels cold as it enters their bodies.

After 40 minutes, enough tracer should be in your heart for the first imaging scan. Next, you slowly begin exercising on a stationary bike or treadmill. When you reach the target heart rate, your cardiologist sets you to have the second imaging scan. Medication can simulate the same effect on your heart if you can't exercise.

Your cardiologist analyzes the results to determine if you have any heart abnormalities. They discuss their findings and recommend treatment or further investigations where necessary.

Call The Heart Institute of Venice for more information on nuclear stress testing, or schedule a consultation online today.