Results

Your doctor will discuss your nuclear stress test results with you. Your results could show:

  • Normal blood flow during exercise and rest. You may not need further tests.
  • Normal blood flow during rest, but not during exercise. Part of your heart isn't receiving enough blood when you're exerting yourself. This might mean that you have one or more blocked arteries (coronary artery disease).
  • Low blood flow during rest and exercise. Part of your heart isn't getting enough blood at all times, which could be due to severe coronary artery disease or a previous heart attack.
  • Lack of radioactive dye in parts of your heart. Areas of your heart that don't show the radioactive dye have tissue damage from a heart attack.

If you don't have enough blood flow through your heart, you may need to undergo coronary angiography. This test looks directly at the blood vessels supplying your heart. If you have severe blockages, you may need a coronary intervention (angioplasty and stent placement) or open-heart surgery (coronary artery bypass).

Nov. 16, 2017
References
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  2. What is stress testing? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/stress/. Accessed Sept. 8, 2017.
  3. Papaioannou GI, et al. Exercise radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging in the diagnosis and prognosis of coronary heart disease. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 8, 2017.
  4. Yanowitz FG, et al. Exercise ECG testing: Performing the test and determining the ECG results. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 8, 2017.
  5. Stress nuclear study. American College of Cardiology. https://www.cardiosmart.org/News-and-Events/2013/01/Video-Stress-Nuclear-Study. Accessed Sept. 11, 2017.
  6. Arruda-Olson AM, et al. Stress testing to determine prognosis of coronary heart disease. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 11, 2017.
  7. Coronary heart disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cad. Accessed Sept. 11, 2017.
  8. Bonow RO, et al., eds. Nuclear cardiology. In: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 11, 2017.
  9. ACC/AHA/ASNC guidelines for the clinical use of cardiac radionuclide imaging—executive summary. Circulation. 2003;108:1404.
  10. Mankad R (expert opinion). Rochester, Minn. Sept. 14, 2017.