Re: dual excercise stress test
Is this a nuclear (thallium) stress test? From the length (3 to 4 hours), I would guess it almost has to be.
The exercise will be done on a treadmill. If your back is in such condition that makes it difficult for you to physically exercise, the doctor can use a chemical which stresses the heart. My last test was a couple of months ago. It was done on a treadmill but the doctor also used a chemical stressor.
If this is indeed a nuclear stress test, you will have an IV needle placed in a vein, and you'll be injected with a nuclear marker (thallium, usually). After a period of time (maybe 30 minutes), your heart will be scanned with a machine which shows thallium uptake, a measure of the coronary artery blood flow, at rest.. This scan takes 20 - 30 minutes.
Following.that, you will go through the exercise portion of the test. You will be wired up to a heart monitor, put on a treadmill, and exercised. This starts at a slow pace on a level, but the speed is increased along with the treadmill elevation at intervals. It takes maybe 30 minutes to get the monitor leads placed on your chest and everything ready to start. The treadmill part itself normally lasts a maximum of about 12 minutes. Another shot of thallium will be injected into the IV.
Following the treadmill part, you are encouraged to eat. Then after a wait of 30 minutes to an hour, you will be scanned again. This will show the heart's thallium uptake on exercise. Any areas of coronary ischemia on your heart will be apparant from the scan.
It will take about 3 hours to complete the entire test, but the exercise portion is relatively brief (maybe 12 minutes), and involves only walking on a treadmill.. Your heart is monitored during the exercise, along with your blood pressure, so the exercise can be stopped if any coronary anomoly develops.
My cardiologist called me the next day with the results.
This is just a brief description as I remember it. It's nothing to be afraid of. The nuclear element is very mild, and is eliminated from the body rapidly. You won't glow in the dark (ha!)
Hope all goes well,
Last edited by Fizzickle; 12-03-2004 at 08:34 PM.