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Cardiac Nuclear Stress Testing

A nuclear stress test measures blood flow to your heart muscle at rest and during stress. Performed similar to a routine exercise stress test, a nuclear stress test provides images in addition to electrocardiograms.

During a nuclear stress test, a radioactive substance is injected into your bloodstream. This substance mixes with your blood and travels to your heart. A special scanner—which detects the radioactive material in your heart—creates images of your heart muscle. Inadequate blood flow to any part of your heart will show up as a light spot on the images because less radioactive substance is reaching the area.

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