Stress Test Lab

ICANLNuclear stress testing is a very common test given to millions of people every year. It can help physicians to see whether or not a patient has CAD (Coronary Artery Disease), by showing if there may be a problem with the blood supply to the heart muscle.

The testing is done in several parts, usually on the same day. Imaging is done with the heart at rest and also when it is stressed and demanding more blood flow. A small amount of radioactive pharmaceutical is given for each set of pictures. This material can be detected by a special camera that produces images showing how much blood is flowing to the heart muscle.

For stress imaging, the patient’s heart is put under a safe amount of stress either by having the patient exercise or, if the patient is unable to exercise adequately, a special medication is given. The stress causes the arteries that feed the heart muscle to dilate. The images are reviewed by a specially trained physician to determine if the heart muscle is receiving an adequate amount of blood, regardless of what the heart is demanding.