Nuclear Cardiology

Sometimes called a “nuclear stress test” or “stress thallium” study, nuclear cardiac imaging is used in conjunction with stress testing to improve the detection of coronary artery blockage. Patients undergo an injection of a short-acting radioactive substance prior to and during treadmill exercise. The patient then lies under a “gamma camera” while a computer collects information and creates a detailed image of the heart muscle. This image allows the cardiologist to detect artery blockage or heart muscle damage. A medication called adenosine can be substituted for exercise for those patients who cannot walk on a treadmill.


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