Nuclear Stress Test at Paris Cardiology Center…What to expect?

A nuclear stress test measures blood flow to your heart muscle both at rest and during stress on the heart. A Nuclear Stress Test takes two sets of images of your heart, one is done when you are exercising on a treadmill or with medication that stresses your heart and another set while you are resting.

Dr. Shafiq will recommend Nuclear Stress Test for you if he wants to rule out Coronary Artery Disease in you. Heart patients with Coronary Artery Disease have arteries that have build up of deposits called plaque. In such a case patients have symptoms of shortness of breath or chest pains. You may also require a Nuclear Stress Test if Dr. Shafiq wants to look at the size of your heart. An enlarge heart can be detected through a Nuclear Stress Test. Dr. Shafiq can also measure the pumping function (ejection fraction) of your heart through this test.

Dr. Shafiq also tailors his treatment of heart disorders for his patients through this Nuclear Stress Test. If you have been diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease, Arrhythmia or some other heart condition. A Nuclear Stress Test can let Dr. Shafiq know how to tailor treatment plan for your heart condition on your follow up visit.

A Nuclear Stress Test is generally safe but like with any medical procedure, it carries some risks or complications. You may develop an allergic reaction to the radioactive isotope that is injected in your arm or hand during the Nuclear Stress Test. Your Blood pressure may suddenly drop during or after exercise that can cause you to have dizziness for a little while. You may have arrhythmias after an exercise stress test that usually goes way after the exercise. You may have flushing sensation or chest pain if you are given medication to stress your heart and in rare case it is possible that a Nuclear Stress test can cause a myocardial infarction or a heart attack.

To prepare for the test, you are required not to eat, drink or smoke twleve hours before the test. Dr. Shafiq will let you know which medication to take or stop before the test. If you have asthma and use an inhaler let Dr. Shafiq know before the test. You will need to wear comfortable clothes for your exercise stress test that day when you come to Paris Cardiology Center.

If the information gathered during your Nuclear Stress Test shows your heart function to be normal during both exercise and rest than it is unlikely that you have Coronary Artery Disease. You will not need further testing.

However, if the Nuclear Stress Test shows normal blood flow during rest but not during exercise than it means that part of your heart muscle is not receiving enough blood when you are exercising. This may mean you may have one or more blocked arteries and you may have Coronary Artery Disease.

If your test result shows low blood flow during rest and exercise than it means your heart isn't getting enough blood at all times and it could be due to severe Coronary Artery Disease or a previous heart attack. If the test shows lack of radioactive dye in parts of your heart than it means that those areas have been damaged from a heart attack and are actually showing scar tissue.

Nuclear Stress Test is a great test to rule out or detect major heart conditions and to tailor excellent treatment plan for heart patients.

Ayesha Shafiq, Director of Paris Cardiology Center. Wife of Khalid Shafiq M.D. and mother of their 2 children. Director of Paris Cardiology Center for 11 years. Masters in International Relations. Runs management with the help of 22 employees.