25 doctors weighed in:

Nuclear cardiology stress test--how much radiaiton?

25 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Milunski
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
6 doctors agree

In brief: Radiation exposure

There most certainly is radiation exposure with nuclear cardiology stress testing whether it is with thallium, sestamibi, or any of the pet imaging agents.
The exposure is minimal but real and the risk vs. Benefit to the patient needs to be considered before ordering the study. Pregnant women should not have these studies and young women can have a very small but increased risk of breast cancer.

In brief: Radiation exposure

There most certainly is radiation exposure with nuclear cardiology stress testing whether it is with thallium, sestamibi, or any of the pet imaging agents.
The exposure is minimal but real and the risk vs. Benefit to the patient needs to be considered before ordering the study. Pregnant women should not have these studies and young women can have a very small but increased risk of breast cancer.
Dr. Mark Milunski
Dr. Mark Milunski
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1 comment
Dr. Thomas Heston
Stress only test exposes a person from 1 mSv (N13-ammonia) to 5 mSv (Tc99m based agents) to about 10 mSv (Tl-201).
Dr. Lev Lubarsky
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
4 doctors agree

In brief: Depends

Depends on your weight and the type of nuclear agent used.
For an average size person a modern single nuclear isotope test is 12-18 msv. If you live in denver you get 3 msv /year of radiation; a flight from ny to la is about 1msv, etc..

In brief: Depends

Depends on your weight and the type of nuclear agent used.
For an average size person a modern single nuclear isotope test is 12-18 msv. If you live in denver you get 3 msv /year of radiation; a flight from ny to la is about 1msv, etc..
Dr. Lev Lubarsky
Dr. Lev Lubarsky
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Dr. John Szawaluk
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
2 doctors agree

In brief: It really

Depends on the specific protocol that used.
If stress only imaging is utilized as well as single isotope avoiding thallium is used the amount of radiation used is significantly decreased. Check with your doctor and specific lab. Lastly is appropriate use criteria are followed radiation exposure can be limited . It is the physician's obligation to limit radiation exposure to their patients.

In brief: It really

Depends on the specific protocol that used.
If stress only imaging is utilized as well as single isotope avoiding thallium is used the amount of radiation used is significantly decreased. Check with your doctor and specific lab. Lastly is appropriate use criteria are followed radiation exposure can be limited . It is the physician's obligation to limit radiation exposure to their patients.
Dr. John Szawaluk
Dr. John Szawaluk
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Dr. Marc Mugmon
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Much more than CXR

Most patients shouldn't worry about the amount of radiation from this type of test if it is really necessary.
Please see this article from the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI). http://www.sharecare.com/health/circulatory-system-health/radiation-exposure-nuclear-stress-test-dangerous

In brief: Much more than CXR

Most patients shouldn't worry about the amount of radiation from this type of test if it is really necessary.
Please see this article from the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI). http://www.sharecare.com/health/circulatory-system-health/radiation-exposure-nuclear-stress-test-dangerous
Dr. Marc Mugmon
Dr. Marc Mugmon
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Dr. Mary Callahan
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Nuclear stress test

Simply, it depends, but the doses are kept low and the time it is in your body is several hours.
Most often technicium is used, sometimes thallium is used. These are safe tests when done in the appropriate setting.

In brief: Nuclear stress test

Simply, it depends, but the doses are kept low and the time it is in your body is several hours.
Most often technicium is used, sometimes thallium is used. These are safe tests when done in the appropriate setting.
Dr. Mary Callahan
Dr. Mary Callahan
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Dr. Satyabrata Chatterjee
Internal Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Not much

The total amount of radiation in nuclear stress test is approximately 11 millisieverts in women and 9 in men.
In comparison, individuals living at higher elevations eg in denver colorado, would get background radiation of approximately 3 millisieverts/year.

In brief: Not much

The total amount of radiation in nuclear stress test is approximately 11 millisieverts in women and 9 in men.
In comparison, individuals living at higher elevations eg in denver colorado, would get background radiation of approximately 3 millisieverts/year.
Dr. Satyabrata Chatterjee
Dr. Satyabrata Chatterjee
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Dr. Michael Becker
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: A small amount

To visualize the heart muscle, a small amount of radioactivity is administered, circulates through the bloodstream and is taken up by the heart muscle.
The amount given must be enough to allow the heart to be seen above the background radiation that is present in our environment. In reality, this amount is really quite small and does not add significantly to our risk of cancer.

In brief: A small amount

To visualize the heart muscle, a small amount of radioactivity is administered, circulates through the bloodstream and is taken up by the heart muscle.
The amount given must be enough to allow the heart to be seen above the background radiation that is present in our environment. In reality, this amount is really quite small and does not add significantly to our risk of cancer.
Dr. Michael Becker
Dr. Michael Becker
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Dr. James Strader
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: CT scan

About the same as a ct scan.

In brief: CT scan

About the same as a ct scan.
Dr. James Strader
Dr. James Strader
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Dr. Christian Assad
Internal Medicine - Cardiology

In brief: Radiation

MIBI scans are safe.
They are not ‘invasive’ A small amount of radioactive material is used. The dose of this radiation is small, 10-15mSi, similar to a CT chest but 100x more than a chest x-ray.

In brief: Radiation

MIBI scans are safe.
They are not ‘invasive’ A small amount of radioactive material is used. The dose of this radiation is small, 10-15mSi, similar to a CT chest but 100x more than a chest x-ray.
Dr. Christian Assad
Dr. Christian Assad
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Dr. Carlos Orrego
Internal Medicine - Cardiology

In brief: Nuclear

It will depend on different factors such as tracer used , number of days taken , only stress vs stress-rest protocol used.
In general, If sestamibi is used, for only stress is about 8 mCi and and for stress and rest is about 11 mCi.

In brief: Nuclear

It will depend on different factors such as tracer used , number of days taken , only stress vs stress-rest protocol used.
In general, If sestamibi is used, for only stress is about 8 mCi and and for stress and rest is about 11 mCi.
Dr. Carlos Orrego
Dr. Carlos Orrego
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Dr. Robert Koch
Internal Medicine - Cardiology

In brief: Less than suntanning

The radiation doses typically exposed during a nuclear cardiac stress imaging exam is between 0.
7 and 1.1 rad depending on the activity of the radionuclide received; these estimates are based on 20 mci and 30 mci, which are typical per normal body size. Usually, there is no concern about radiation exposure below 15 rad.

In brief: Less than suntanning

The radiation doses typically exposed during a nuclear cardiac stress imaging exam is between 0.
7 and 1.1 rad depending on the activity of the radionuclide received; these estimates are based on 20 mci and 30 mci, which are typical per normal body size. Usually, there is no concern about radiation exposure below 15 rad.
Dr. Robert Koch
Dr. Robert Koch
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Dr. Nassir Azimi
Clinical Lipidology

In brief: LOw

Radiation exposure to the human body is measure often as millisieverts (msv).
Each year, americans are typically exposed to a radiation dose of about 3 msv from the atmosphere. By comparison, a chest x-ray delivers a radiation dose of 0.02 msv. Aresting scan combined with a stress scan using the radioactive tracer technetium-99m sestamibi - averages 11.3 msv.

In brief: LOw

Radiation exposure to the human body is measure often as millisieverts (msv).
Each year, americans are typically exposed to a radiation dose of about 3 msv from the atmosphere. By comparison, a chest x-ray delivers a radiation dose of 0.02 msv. Aresting scan combined with a stress scan using the radioactive tracer technetium-99m sestamibi - averages 11.3 msv.
Dr. Nassir Azimi
Dr. Nassir Azimi
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Dr. Thomas Heston
Family Medicine

In brief: About 10 mSv

Depends on the technique, but average is around 10 msv for tc99m myocardial perfusion spect imaging.
Can go down to around 2 msv with pet using n13-ammonia or higher (15 to 20 msv) with tl-201.

In brief: About 10 mSv

Depends on the technique, but average is around 10 msv for tc99m myocardial perfusion spect imaging.
Can go down to around 2 msv with pet using n13-ammonia or higher (15 to 20 msv) with tl-201.
Dr. Thomas Heston
Dr. Thomas Heston
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Dr. Rick Koch
Internal Medicine - Cardiology

In brief: Typically

15-25 millisieverts but this can vary.

In brief: Typically

15-25 millisieverts but this can vary.
Dr. Rick Koch
Dr. Rick Koch
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Dr. Michael Zevitz
Internal Medicine - Cardiology

In brief: None

Tbere is no radiation exposure on a nuclear cardiology stress test.
The tracer chemical is a harmless radioisotope, usually technitium, but sometimes thallium, which is entirely eliminated from the body within 24 hours after it is injected. The radioisotope is simply used as a tracer to assess the blood circulation to the heart muscle regions.

In brief: None

Tbere is no radiation exposure on a nuclear cardiology stress test.
The tracer chemical is a harmless radioisotope, usually technitium, but sometimes thallium, which is entirely eliminated from the body within 24 hours after it is injected. The radioisotope is simply used as a tracer to assess the blood circulation to the heart muscle regions.
Dr. Michael Zevitz
Dr. Michael Zevitz
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3 comments
Dr. Tim McDonough
Radiation exposure is commonly measured in millisieverts (mSv). The average person in the U.S. can expect to receive no more than 3 mSv of exposure per year from naturally occurring background radiation. An exposure of greater than 20 mSv is considered high, while greater than 3 mSv to 20 mSv is considered moderate. Myocardial perfusion imaging for heart disease delivers about 15 mSv per test.
Dr. Tim McDonough
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