Nuclear Exercise Testing is the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center’s most comprehensive test. A nuclear stress test measures blood flow to your heart muscle both at rest and during stress (exercise) on the heart. It’s performed similar to a routine exercise stress test, but provides images that can show areas of low blood flow through the heart and areas of damaged heart muscle. With this stress test a small amount of radioactive substance is used to determine the health of the heart and blood flow to the heart.
Dr. Reisman is a fantastic cardiac doctor. He took me at the last minute when I felt I was having heart issues and the same day had a nuclear stress test done. This helped me to know that a) my heart is fine but b) that I have an autoimmune deficiency called disautonomia which explains my exhaustion, chest pains etc. Highly recommend this doctor. ~ Google
An intravenous (IV) access will be placed in your arm and a nuclear isotope will then be injected at peak exercise (stress). Electrodes will be painlessly placed on your skin and you will be asked to walk on a treadmill, slowly at first, with gradual increases in the speed and incline of the machine every three minutes. During this time, you will be monitored for symptoms, heart rate, and rhythm. This test will be terminated at any time if you are unable to continue or at the cardiologist’s advice. Once the exercise portion of the test is complete, images of your heart will be taken. You will than return for repeat resting pictures sometime after a 3 to 14 hour break.
A nuclear exercise test is performed in three stages:
- Stress test: Exercise and / or medication stress
- Stress pictures of the heart
- Resting pictures of the heart after a 3 to 14 hour break
The NYC cardiologist might perform a nuclear stress test to determine if:
- Areas of your heart are damaged
- Your coronary arteries are blocked
- The blood flows normally through your heart
- The size and shape of your heart is normal
- To determine the differences between how your heart performs at rest and during exercise
The nuclear stress test can gives cardiologists vital information regarding:
- The size of the chambers in the heart
- How well the heart is pumping blood
- The heart itself, whether any of it, for example muscle, is damaged
- The health of arteries that provide blood to the heart (coronary arteries), whether they have narrowed or are blocked due to coronary artery disease
- How effective a current treatment has been (heart surgery, angioplasty, medications, etc.)
- What to expect after having a heart attack.
Typically, the following drugs may be stopped before a nuclear stress test, however, be sure to ask the Manhattan heart specialist before stopping these drugs and follow his instructions:
- Beta Blockers: Lopressor, metoprolol, Toprol XL, atenolol, Inderal, propranolol.
- Isosorbide mononitrate (Imdur, ISMO), dinitrate (Isordil)
- Nitroglycerin (Nitropatches, Nitrostat)
- Dipyridamole (Persantine, Aggrenox) — Stop taking 48 hours before the test
- Erectile dysfunction drugs
Doctor’s Note: Do not eat or drink anything for at least three hours prior to your nuclear stress test except for water. A nuclear stress test is a two part test with the first part 1.5 hours and the second part 30 minutes. The second part will take place anywhere from 3 to 14 hours after the first part. If you are pregnant or suspect that you might be, let the NYC cardiologist know immediately. Nuclear Cardiology tests are not performed if you are pregnant.
If you have any questions for the best in class NYC cardiologist or would like to schedule a consultation or appointment please feel free to contact Dr. Steven Reisman of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center and indicate which Manhattan office (Upper East Side, Midtown Manhattan, or Wall Street / Financial District) you would like to see the cardiologist for a cardiac consultation.