A nuclear stress test is generally safe, and complications are rare. But, as with any medical procedure, it does carry a risk of complications, including:

  • Allergic reaction. You could be allergic to the radioactive dye that's injected into a vein in your hand or arm during a nuclear stress test.
  • Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). Arrhythmias brought on either by exertion or the medication used during a stress test usually go away shortly after you stop exercising or the medication wears off. Life-threatening arrhythmias are rare.
  • Heart attack (myocardial infarction). Although extremely rare, it's possible that a nuclear stress test could cause a heart attack.
  • Flushing sensation or chest pain. These symptoms can occur when you are given a medication to stress your heart if you're unable to exercise adequately. These symptoms are usually brief, but tell your doctor if they occur.
Dec. 06, 2014