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A 56-year-old male asked:

my doctor ordered a nuclear stress test but i am concern about the risks and nuclear injection?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bac Nguyen
Family Medicine 23 years experience
Talk to your doc...: It is quite normal to be apprehensive about the test and potential side effect of med/material you are given. The substances often used in nuclear stress test is called thallium-201 or technetium-99 radioactive isotopes. The amount used is quite small and long-term cancer risk is less than 1 in 1000 in older adults. I recommend discussing your concern with your doc. Good luck.
Dr. Bac Nguyen
Dr. Bac Nguyen commented
Family Medicine 23 years experience
Provided original answer
Hello, Zebra; Wow!!! A nuclear physicist! That is awesome. Anyhow, as I mentioned above, the amount used is small and you likely WON'T feel any effect from this. It is however nerve-wracking having it injected into your body. I actually had a patient who got a nuclear stress test which was all ok, went to Canada and on the way back 3 days later the detector at the border went-off!!!
Dec 4, 2013
Dr. Brian Wosnitzer
Nuclear Medicine 18 years experience
Stress test...: There are 2 forms of nuclear stress... Exercise ; pharmacologic. Usually exercise is preferred if possible. Both methods use a tracer such as technetium or thallium to image the heart. You will not feel side effects from the tracer itself however it does expose you to a small amount of radiation. If pharmacologic stress test is performed, you may feel some effects from the pharm agent.
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Nuclear Medicine 52 years experience
Low risks: A cardiac perfusion scan measures the amount of blood supplied to your heart muscle. Radiotracers such as thallium or technetium sestamibi are injected intravenously and travel through blood to heart muscle. Two sets of images are made during rest and exercise are compared. Indications for this study include chest pain, previous heart attack, heart surgery and coronary artery disease.

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Similar questions

A 42-year-old member asked:

Can a nuclear stress test cause you problems?

1 doctor answer6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Akiva Mintz
Nuclear Medicine 17 years experience
Typically not: The only "risk" would be during the stress part, when one runs on a treadmill or gets a drug alternative. However, there is little risk here because this is monitored with an ekg and supervised by a cardiologist/nuclear physician. One drug that is used for stress even has an agent that can reverse its side effects. In summary, under normal standard-of care-conditions, there should be little risk.
Plano, TX
A 54-year-old male asked:

How often can nuclear stress test be safely repeated, would doing two tests in 4 month be safe. Any radiations concerns. ?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anthony Filly
Radiology 26 years experience
No sig danger: The amount of radiation is pretty minimal. If its indicated, it should be fine but why repeat it after only 4 months?
A 42-year-old member asked:

What is a nuclear stress test?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Calvin Weisberger
Cardiology 51 years experience
Nuclear stress test: The patient walks on a treadmill or other exercise device or has a medication injected to simulate exercise, when the exercise or medicine is in progress a radioactive agent is injected which goes into the heart and can be imaged to show the blood flow into the heart muscle. The information shows if enough blood gets into the heart muscle and other information.
San Antonio, TX
A 41-year-old male asked:

Barring any new symptoms, what is a typical "warranty period" for a nuclear stress test?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Gerald Mandell
Nuclear Medicine 52 years experience
Depends: Cardiologist takes into consideration any structural abnormalities, patient's particular symptoms, family history, and physical examination. If test is normal and remain symptom free probably would not be retested until change in symptoms. If abnormality on study may be reexamined at one or two years depending on clinical situation and physician's particular criteria.
A 31-year-old member asked:

Increasing pvcs should I have a nuclear stress test?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Calvin Weisberger
Cardiology 51 years experience
VPCs: You should see your doctor to see why you have the extrasystoles and whether any workup is indicated. A nuclear stress test is one of the possible tests your doctor might consider.

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Last updated Oct 23, 2018
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