Nuclear Perfusion Imaging
Nuclear perfusion imaging, also known as a nuclear stress test, is a diagnostic test performed to determine if the heart is receiving adequate blood supply under both stress and rest conditions. The test is done with the injection of a small amount of radioactive material into the bloodstream, which will circulate throughout the body and help to evaluate the blood flow and function of the heart. This procedure is performed to determine the risk of a heart attack and to show if there is a limited blood flow to the heart and determine the best treatment plan for serious heart conditions.
During the stress test, a radioactive isotope (either thallium or sestamibi) is injected into the bloodstream once during the exercise portion of the test and again when the patient is at rest. Images of the heart will be taken shortly after each injection to show any areas of the heart that are not receiving enough blood. Both sets of images will be interpreted by a board-certified nuclear cardiologist before providing the patient with the results.