A nuclear stress test produces images of the heart during exercise and at rest. The test shows how well the blood flows into the heart.
During this test, the patient is injected with a small dose of a harmless tracer that is used to evaluate the blood flow to the heart. The patient spends time exercising on a treadmill and then rests. The images of the heart during both times are compared, which can reveal issues in the heart muscle and blood vessels, including coronary artery disease. The test is completed in one day.
Patients unable to walk on a treadmill can take a medication to simulate exercise.