Nuclear stress test instructions

Here’s what you need to do, and know, if your doctor orders a nuclear stress test for you:

  • Do not eat or drink four hours prior to the test and absolutely no caffeine eight hours prior to the test.
  • Check with your doctor if you are currently taking any heart medications. You may be asked to discontinue use of these medications prior to the test.
  • Please wear a two piece outfit and comfortable shoes if you are walking on the treadmill.
  • Before the test, you will be asked to sign a consent form. Please feel free to ask any questions about the risks of the procedure.
  • Several electrodes (small sticky patches) will be placed on your chest to obtain an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), a recording of your heart’s electricity.
  • An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted into a vein in your arm to allow for the injection of the cardiolite during exercise.
  • The entire test takes about two to three hours.
  • The resting portion of the exam will be performed while you lie on a table and a camera moves over you taking pictures. It will take 15-30 minutes to complete this portion of the test.
  • You should receive your test results within 5-7 business days.

Other important information to know

The cardiolite administered during this stress test is radioactive. If you are pregnant, suspect you may be or are a nursing mother, tell your doctor before undergoing the procedure.

If you have questions about this procedure, please contact at our office.