Heart problems don't always cause symptoms when you're resting, so a standard electrocardiogram (EKG) or echocardiogram may not find the cause. If this is the case with your symptoms, experienced cardiovascular physician Daljit Muttiana, MD, FACC, FSCAI, offers advanced nuclear stress tests to overcome this problem. At Cardiovascular Institute, P.A., in Tomball, Texas, Dr. Muttiana uses both treadmill exercise and pharmacological methods to ensure you can safely take a nuclear stress test. For further information, call Cardiovascular Institute, P.A., today or book an appointment online.
Nuclear stress tests measure how well your blood is flowing through your heart. Dr. Muttiana records information while you're at rest, during exercise, and afterward to see if there are any problems with the way your heart functions.
During nuclear stress tests, there's a radioactive dye in your blood that produces clear images on X-ray. Most people can complete a nuclear stress test using a treadmill or stationary exercise bike to gradually raise their heart rate.
If you aren't able to exercise, you can undergo a pharmacological nuclear stress test instead, where Dr. Muttiana gives you medication to raise your heart rate.
Dr. Muttiana might suggest a nuclear stress test if you've undergone other investigations, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG), echocardiogram, or routine stress testing, without finding any issues that explain your symptoms.
If you've been having chest pain or shortness of breath, a nuclear stress test can help Dr. Muttiana assess the health of your coronary arteries. Nuclear stress tests can detect the narrowing in your arteries typical of coronary artery disease (CAD) and see how severe it is.
Nuclear stress tests also form part of your evaluation when you start treatment for a heart condition. The tests tell Dr. Muttiana what level of exercise is safe for your heart as you progress through your rehabilitation program.
The first stage of having a nuclear stress test is inserting an intravenous (IV) line in an arm vein. The radioactive dye or radiotracer enters your bloodstream via the IV, which might feel like a flush of cold.
The radiotracer takes 20-40 minutes to find its way into your heart cells. At this point, you start exercising, building up momentum until your heart reaches the rate Dr. Muttiana sets. You can stop beforehand if you're having problems with the test.
You get another dose of radiotracer when your heart rate peaks and a further dose 20-40 minutes later. Dr. Muttiana takes X-rays during and after your nuclear stress test to see what your heart was doing at rest and under stress.
To benefit from Dr. Muttiana's expertise in evaluating nuclear stress tests, call Cardiovascular Institute, P.A., today or book an appointment online.