The cardiac stress test is used to find out if there is significant blockage of the blood supply to
the heart (coronary artery disease). In a nuclear stress test, the doctor is looking at the heart
muscle itself and the amount of radioactive material picked up (perfused) by the heart. These
tests give doctors a good idea of what is going on in your heart.
You will go to Fort HealthCare – Fort Memorial Hospital for the test. Use the main entrance on
Armenia Street. Ask for help in finding the Cardiac Eval (EKG) Department.
The nuclear stress test is a two day test done in two parts: a “rest” part and a “stress” part.
Please allow 1½ hours for these exams.
The “rest” portion of the nuclear stress test will be done on a separate day and will be compared with the stress images done after the “stress” portion of the test. On this day we ask that you do not eat any food for 3 hours prior to the test. You may drink water or juice and you can take your medications as usual. Enter through the main hospital entrance and go to radiology.
For the “rest” images, a radioactive material that helps take pictures of your heart will be injected through an IV line and pictures will be taken 30 minutes later. You will be asked to lie flat on a table and remain still while the pictures are being taken. The machine moves slowly around your chest while you lie still. Each picture takes between 20-25 seconds and the entire scan is done in approximately 15 minutes.
For the stress test, small sticky pads will be placed on your chest. The contact of these pads to
the skin is important to get a good signal. Men may need to have hair shaved. These pads will
be hooked to an ECG monitor so that your heart rhythm can be watched closely throughout the
Your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored during the stress test. Tell the person
giving the test if you have any of these symptoms at any time:
If you are having a nuclear stress test a radioactive material will be injected through an IV line
about 1½ minutes before the end of the stress test. It is carried to the heart by the blood where it is taken up by the heart muscle cells. The “stress” images will be taken 15-60 minutes after your stress test.
If you have any other questions or concerns, we will gladly help you with them. You can reach
the Cardiac Eval Dept at (920) 568-5350. If you live out of the area, call 1-800-421-4677 and
ask to be connected with Cardiac Evaluation.