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Gail, Alumni Mentor (@baxtersmom)

What's a nuclear stress test like? Is it safe?

Heart Rhythm Conditions | Last Active: May 10 1:52pm | Replies (63)

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Hi Gail,
@grandmajan posed a similar question and concerns about the nuclear stress test a while back. See the responses she got from a number of Connect members here: http://mayocl.in/2r7tJu0

I’m also tagging @predictable and @cynaburst on this discussion to help you find answers to the information on your report. Gail, when are you scheduled for the stress test?

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Replies to "Hi Gail, @grandmajan posed a similar question and concerns about the nuclear stress test a while..."

Thanks Colleen for getting me all these responses. These largely comport with my experience.

I had the nuclear stress test on Monday last week (May 22nd I believe). It was really no problem at all. They had me walk on the treadmill for just a couple of minutes after injecting me with the medicine that speeds up your heart and simulates the exercise portion because they said it minimizes the effects of the medicine. My legs got a little heavy for about a minute and I felt a little dizzy but it went away really fast. I was not nauseated or ill in any way. Worst part is not being able to eat beforehand so I was ready for a snack right afterward. Got the results on Tuesday and essentially at rest all the blood flow is fine which indicates no heart damage as I understand it. Under stress there is one small area at the Apex of the Heart where there may be some decreased flow (doctor said it is either that or a shadow from the breast which sometimes causes an artifact in women). So on Tuesday May 30th I am scheduled for an angiogram (heart catheterization) to identify whether there is really a clogged artery and how much. If it is blocked 70% or more they will put in a stent and I will stay one night in the hospital. If no blockage, I will recover for a few hours and go home. I could have gotten on blood thinner but I prefer not to do that if we can figure this out another way. If I don’t have a blockage I don’t want to be on a med I don’t need, plus I would have to keep on getting tested to see if the med was working or not. So I chose the catheterization which my doctor said would be her choice if she were in my shoes. I always ask them this (If it were you……). I am a little apprehensive but I need to get this done because I have to have an Endoscopy to check a couple of things every two years and my gastroenterologist won’t do it without a clearance from the cardiologist. If there is not blockage, it is likely my hiatal hernia that is causing the pressure in my chest. Only the endoscopy can tell us if the hernia has changed since we last looked. If anyone has had angiogram, I would be curious to hear their experience as well.

I thank everyone for their information and replies.