Nuclear Stress Testing / Pharmacologic Stress Testing
During nuclear stress testing, your blood pressure and EKG readings are monitored while you walk or run on a treadmill. If you are unable to exercise, your doctor may order a pharmacologic stress test. During a pharmacologic stress test, a medicine is injected through an intravenous line (IV) into your bloodstream to make your heart work harder, as if you are exercising on a treadmill. After the stress portion of your test is done (either walking or pharmacologic), nuclear heart scanning is done in which a radioactive tracer is injected into your bloodstream, and a special camera records images that can detect potential areas of reduced blood flow through your heart arteries.
During this test, an echocardiogram is done both before and after your heart is stressed by having you exercise. A stress echocardiogram is usually done to find out if you have decreased blood flow to your heart (coronary artery disease).