A nuclear stress test is used to provide information about how the heart responds to exertion. It involves walking on a treadmill at increasing levels of difficulty, while your electrocardiogram, heart rate, and blood pressure are monitored. This test helps to determine which parts of the heart are healthy and function normally and which are not. A small amount of radioactive substance is injected into the patient. Then Chuck, our nuclear technician uses a special camera to identify the rays emitted from the substance within the body; this produces clear pictures of the heart tissue on a monitor. These pictures are done both at rest and after exercise. Using this technique, areas of the heart that have a decreased blood supply can be detected.
Adenosine Stress Test: This test is used in people who are unable to exercise. Adenosine is given to make the heart respond as if the patient were exercising. This way Dr. Bensimon can still determine how the heart responds to stress, but no exercise is required.
Stress tests are done to:
+ Determine if there is adequate blood flow to your heart during increasing levels of activity
+ Evaluate the effectiveness of your heart medications to control angina and ischemia
+ Determine the likelihood of having coronary heart disease and the need for further evaluation
+ Check the effectiveness of procedures done to improve blood flow within the heart vessels in people with coronary heart disease
+ Identify abnormal heart rhythms
+ Assess the function of heart valves if they are not functioning properly
+ Help you develop a safe exercise program