stress test taken

 Just a brief update took stress test this morning, was told should hear back  from the dr. in about a week  with the results.   Hard parts for me was keeping my arms above my head for the first look and see for 13 minutes and the second  for 10 minutes.  After they put the radioactive chemical in my arm had to drink something with caffeine in. Decided  on green tea.  As i do not drink anything with caffeine.    Then home to find more to drink and  then with a water tracer. 

Was there about  2 and 1/2 hours.  Mostly waiting between tests.

  new to pace


Keeping arms up?

by Gemita - 2021-07-22 19:30:24

Now that would be the hard part for me too new to pace.  They really challenged you and you did well to keep your arms up for those lengthy periods.  Cannot recall my husband being asked to do this.  It is standard procedure?

I will be very interested in your results when they are through.  Thank you so much for this update.

Nuclear Stress Test

by Marybird - 2021-07-22 19:58:09

Gemita, I have to admit NTP's comments about keeping her arms up made me wonder too. Unless something has changed in the two years since I had my last ( and hopefully last ever, LOL) nuclear stress test, the patient is lying on a table as his/her heart is being scanned before the exercise ( or injected chemical to mimic exercise), and then afterwards. As the person is lying on that table, they're asked to keep their arms up over their head and stay as still as possible so as to get a clear view of the heart. It can be a bit challenging to remain still for the 13/10 minutes they ask, but I don't recall having many problems keeping my arms up- I'm sure it would have been harder if one had to stand up and keep the arms up! 

stress test

by new to pace.... - 2021-07-22 20:29:57

Thanks Gemita and Marybird was laying on this very narrow bed  with my hands resting on top of my head.  Was not sure if i could do it with my replaced right shoulder.  Did shift the shoulder but when i saw the camera(taking pictures of my heart) come close did move it ever so slightly.  Would have been better if the tech did not tell me how long.

Yes, Gemita general procedure as that seems to be the only way they can get a picture of the heart.  Then some type of  chemicals in my arm for each test.  When they did the second test asked if it was to test my heart rate?  They said no it was to test if any veins  or arteries were clogged.  That test was done in the same room as the treadmill.

new to pace

Nuclear stress test

by Dixie Chick 65 - 2021-07-22 21:40:56

Just had to comment that I had a nuclear stress test in 2019 and I didn't have to do this. The medication(?) Used was called Lexiscan. I had time between different views but didn't have to raise my arms like New to Pace described. That would be hard to do for that long ! 
When I saw my doctor for the results he said all looked good then about a week later I had my first " almost" fainting spell. In April 2020 I had the 2nd one and got my pacemaker in May. I've never asked him but maybe conduction problems don't show up on these tests ? 
At any rate, please let us know your results !




It would help to understand context before posting....

by ar_vin - 2021-07-22 21:52:51

As the OP clearly stated this test was done to understand blood flow in the vessels of the heart. That is often the purpose of a "nuclear" (aka thallium scan) stress test ("plumbing").

Read more about the test at the link below:

It is unlikely this test would be used to diagnose "conduction issues" or rhythm disorders ("electrical").

It also didn't help that the OP was unclear about the "arms above the head" thing. No she wouldn't have been required to hold her arms above her head while exercising (try to picture that!). She would have been asked to lie down with her arms above her head perhaps to allow easier access for the imaging cameras.

Just a request to all to simply read, understand the context and then post. If you have nothing to add to the discussion it's perfectly fine to not say anything.




Nuclear stress test

by Dixie Chick 65 - 2021-07-22 22:07:19

Thank you for your post, Ar_Vin. Nowhere in this post is " Thallium stress test " mentioned. 
Perhaps you should take your own advice.




Reading comprehension is not easy.....

by ar_vin - 2021-07-22 22:28:47

I sympathize Dixie Chick.....

That's especially why I posted the remedial reading link.


nuclear stress test

by Julros - 2021-07-23 02:10:20

I've been out of the cardiac nursing game for a couple of years but we used to do a lot of nuclear stress tests on people who had been admitted with chest pain, but with normal cardiac enzymes and normal ekgs, which are used to rule out myocardial infarction. I personally had one 2 years ago to be sure my arrhythmia was not due to heart damage. 

A patient  withholds caffeine and any beta blockers overnight, and breakfast is held until  aftter the stress portion of the test. 

The resting portion of the test is done by injecting a radioisotope. We used a brand called Myoview, and thallium is another type. The patient was scanned lying prone, with arms held over the head if possible, while the heart was scanned revealing how well the isotope flowed through the blood vessels of the heart while at rest. 

Then the patient exercises on a treadmill to stress, that is, cause the heart muscle to work harder. Or, if a person cannot tolerate this, they are injected with a medication that causes the heart to speed up. A brand name is Lexiscan and I believe the generic is regadansetron. Beta blockers and caffeine interfer with the action of this drug, so they are withheld. 

The person is rescanned, to see if there is less flow of the radioisotope through the vessels, indicating a narrowing or muscle damage. An ekg is also used, because changes may show up indicationg ischemia. 

Once the  stress portion of the test is done, the person may eat and have caffeine. Many people have caffeine with breakfast, and withholding can cause a headache. 

Sometimes the stress part is done first, so that a person can eat and have caffeine sooner, before the resting portion of the test. 

If significant low of flow is detected, the next step is usually an angiogram. 

Thank you for an excellent explanation of "Nuclear Stress test"

by ar_vin - 2021-07-23 02:27:36

Thanks Julros!



by Gemita - 2021-07-23 05:09:35

ar_vin:  Well I certainly got the discussion going which is all I really wanted to achieve.  Have you ever considered adopting a more sensitive, tolerant approach?  There are members here who have had strokes or who are suffering from other conditions and who may not always be able to express themselves clearly, or to fully appreciate the meaning of someone else's post.  That was certainly me last night!   We all need to show more tolerance, more understanding sometimes and you would do well to learn this lesson. 

I understand what a ‘chemically’ induced stress echo is all about, since they initially diagnosed my husband with coronary artery disease using this method which was later confirmed by coronary angiogram.  He was lying down on the bed with his arms down I recall for the whole procedure.  They allowed me to sit with him because he had had a stroke during the previous months and seemed quite agitated, especially after receiving his injection ?Dobutamine?

We had to remain in the clinic for approx one hour afterwards to ensure my husband was well enough to return home. My husband had an increase in his arrhythmias following the chemical injection to speed up his heart and to try to confirm the cause for his chest pain.  We were surprised to receive a potential diagnosis so quickly following the stress test even in the absence of the gold standard coronary angiogram to confirm ischaemia.

New to Pace:  Although I never pictured you actually running on a treadmill with arms raised, I admit I did foolishly picture you, from your comments, standing with raised arms for those periods of time, even though I knew you were having a chemically induced stress test.  My humble apologies.   I have certainly been having "brain fog" recently, probably due to the heatwave!  Actually the difficulties of standing with raised arms was on my mind last night when I responded to your post.  I certainly find raising my arms even for brief periods, say when I wash my hair, quite a challenge at times.  I understand that for blood to reach raised arms, the heart has to pump against gravity and work harder but certainly trying to keep my arms raised can cause uncomfortable symptoms.

Turned out to be an interesting thread new to pace despite a shaky start.


stress test

by new to pace.... - 2021-07-23 08:18:05

Thanks to everyone who has reponded..  Esp. to Julros who really explained quite clearly what i had done. 

 Gemita  your apology acepted. Many times we write something  and after looking it over does not make sense.  Happens all the time to me.

new to pace

For Gemita

by ar_vin - 2021-07-23 16:29:46


I know most on here, including me, appreciate your ongoing and tireless efforts towards making this forum a useful resource.

However, I humbly request that you refrain from posting on every thread that appears on here. It's OK to not post on every thread especially where you may have nothing useful to offer.

I felt that it was better to post this here than to send you a message since you chose to take an uncalled for preachy stance directed at me.

PS: For some reason "Dixie Chick" felt that she was the object of my original post to this thread....whatever.


Interesting how much variation there is in the procedure!

by Elisabet - 2021-07-23 17:01:32

People, please let's not devolve into sniping at each other! I found the entire discussion valuable and I hope no one is dissuaded from posting their experiences in the future. 

For what it's worth, I've had to hold my arms over my head during the scan at least once, which I remember because I could only get one up halfway and the nurse used some pillows to prop it up for me. I'd injured my shoulder by falling onto wall multiple times after my stroke and it took a couple of years to get range of motion back. The first time I got that test though was in another institution, and they hd me hold my arms akimbo, which gave me flashbacks to cancer radiation treatments I'd had when younger. 

I've had both the treadmill and the chemical stress, but never have been given caffeine during the procedure. Boy that would have been nice - the worst part is always having to cut out coffee and tea (even decaf) beforehand! I always make a beeline for the nearest Starbucks as soon as they let me out.

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