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

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