Nuclear cardiology procedures allow for the detailed examination of the heart and heart valves while at rest and during increased cardiac activity. Nuclear cardiology stress tests also allow physicians to determine the function, blood flow and pumping action of the heart in real time.
Please let us know at least 48 hours in advance if you are unable to keep your appointment. Due to the inability of Wake Internal Medicine to return the radioactive material needed for your stress test, WE WILL CHARGE A $300.00 FEE FOR A MISSED APPOINTMENT.
INSTRUCTIONS for Nuclear Cardiology Test:
1. Please expect to be at Wake Internal Medicine Consultants for 3-4 hours.
2. DO NOT TAKE beta-blockers for at least 72 hours before your test. Please see the attached sheet for the list of beta blockers. Please continue all other medicines that you take on a daily basis. Diabetic patients see #4.
3. YOU MUST DRINK at least 2 cups (12 ounces) of water before you arrive to facilitate starting your IV. It can be difficult to start an IV when a person is dehydrated.
4. Do not EAT after midnight prior to the test unless your appointment is after 9 am, then you may have a light breakfast (toast, cereal, bagel, etc). It is still ok to brush your teeth if you are fasting. If you ARE diabetic and take medicine for diabetes, only take ½ of the diabetes medicine on the day of the test with a light breakfast EVEN IF YOUR APPOINTMENT IS BEFORE 9 AM.
5. NO CAFFEINE, this includes DECAFFEINATED COFFEE, TEA, AND SODA for at least 24 hours before the test!! Remember that chocolate, over-the-counter cold and headache medicines and diet pills may contain caffeine. Headache medicines without caffeine are OK.
6. NO SMOKING 12 hours prior to the test.
7. Take your usual shower or bath, but DO NOT apply lotion or powder to your chest or arms. Deodorant is allowed. Please do not wear any perfume or cologne as others may be allergic to them.
8. Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. If your shirt has buttons, make sure they are non-metallic and small. Do not wear any kind of necklace.
9. You must eat and drink after the stress portion of the procedure is complete so be sure to bring a snack. This is a lengthy exam, bring a jacket if you get cold easily and bring something to read.
Details of the Procedure
An IV will be inserted in your arm for the administration of a small amount of radioactive material, which will allow visualization of your heart. We will then take a series of pictures while you are lying still in a recliner chair. A treadmill stress test will be done after this time or if you are unable to exercise on the treadmill a drug can be given through the IV to cause your heart rate to simulate exercise. After the stress portion, another set of pictures will be taken.