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Nuclear Stress Test

A nuclear stress test is an imaging method that uses radioactive material to show how well blood flows into the heart muscle, both at rest and during activity. Regular stress test includes walking, running, or jogging on a treadmill to elevate your heart rate.  If you’re unable to exercise, a Chemical stress test is ordered by your doctor, and instead of getting on a treadmill a medication will be injected into your IV line that increases blood flow to your heart. Possible side effects may be similar to those caused by exercise, such as flushing or shortness of breath. You might get a headache. The risk of both Regular and Chemical stress tests are the same.

Here are some DO’s and DO NOT’s to help your appointment go smoothly: 


  • DO NOT eat 3 hours prior to the test.
  • DO NOT have any caffeine 12 hours before the test.  No coffee, no tea, no herbal nor decaffeinated products, no soda and no chocolate.
  • DO NOT take erectile dysfunction drugs for at least 24 hours prior to the test.
  • DO NOT take Aggrenox, Diprydamole, Persantine, or Theophylline for 12 hours prior to the test.  If you are unsure, call your doctor or pharmacy to verify.
  • DO NOT be late!  You must arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.


  • DO wear comfortable loose clothing.  No dresses. 
  • DO wear tennis shoes or sneakers for the treadmill.
  • DO drink plenty of water at any time before the test.  
  • DO allow at least 90 minutes for the test.
  • DO allow plenty of time to park. Valet is available at no cost to patients. 
  • DO take all other medications as prescribed (other than those listed above).
  • DO bring a rescue inhaler if you have been prescribed one.

If you have any questions about these instructions, call 916-782-2146 Ext. 200 between 8am-4pm Monday through Friday.  It is imperative that all the instructions above be followed.  If instructions are not followed, the appointment will be a same-day cancellation.  Please note, a special imaging agent is ordered specifically for your test and all cancellations must be made more than 24 hours in advance.  All same-day cancellations or no shows are charged $150 fee. 

Nuclear Stress Test

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