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Old 03-20-2009, 08:10 AM   #1
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lismark HB User
Nuclear Stress Test vs. Heart Scan

Hi! I am wondering what the difference is.... I heard a stress test will only show if there is more than 50% blockage, but what happens if there is 40%?!!! How long does it take to build up?? Would a heart scan be better to show any blockage? But then I also heard that the calcium scoring isn't accurate.... Just wondering what would be best for my husband.
Thanks!

 
Old 03-22-2009, 09:51 AM   #2
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nutmeg22 HB User
Re: Nuclear Stress Test vs. Heart Scan

Quote:
Originally Posted by lismark View Post
Hi! I am wondering what the difference is.... I heard a stress test will only show if there is more than 50% blockage, but what happens if there is 40%?!!! How long does it take to build up?? Would a heart scan be better to show any blockage? But then I also heard that the calcium scoring isn't accurate.... Just wondering what would be best for my husband.
Thanks!
Lismark,
I would like to know more about a nuclear stress test. I was not with my husband when our GP ordered this test and it is to be performed this coming Wed. We are to report to the radiology dept. of our hospital. He did have an ultrasound done of his heart at rest last week. We have not yet received the results. I am interested in finding out about the percentages that you quoted about finding blockages. My husband is 59 and has been having a feelings of pressure in his chest. His family has a history of heart disease.
Did you speak to the cardiologist about this test or research it somewhere else?
thanks

 
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:01 AM   #3
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Beefsteak HB UserBeefsteak HB UserBeefsteak HB UserBeefsteak HB User
Re: Nuclear Stress Test vs. Heart Scan

Hi Lisa and Nutty,
A nuclear stress test is a good test at showing the general blood supply to the heart, both when at rest, and when exercising under load. It is non-invasive, with no pain or discomfort, and yeilds useful information about the general adequacy of blood flow. It cannot resolve the individual arteries that may be partially blocked. You need an angiogram for that - this is better than a CT scan - i.e. it has a higher resolution and ability to locate and measure any individual blockages. It is more invasive than the other tests but has little discomfort and is very common - it is the "gold" standard for detecting arterial disease.
Hope this helps, Beefy.

 
Old 05-18-2009, 05:58 AM   #4
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StrangeRanger09 HB User
Re: Nuclear Stress Test vs. Heart Scan

Hey, I'm a Nuclear Medicine Technologist, and I actually perform these tests. I can go a little more in depth as to what a Nuclear stress test is.

Basically what's done is that the patient is injected with 2 doses of a radioactive tracer in order to image the heart and determine how the heart is functioning. The reason there's 2 doses is because the test itself is in 2 parts, a rest and a stress. The stress portion of the test is performed while the patient's heart rate is a little above normal, and this is either done by having the patient walk on a treadmill or using a pharmacological agent to simulate it in various ways. (usually around 85% of the patient's max heart rate is acceptable) The entire test is done to get an accurate representation of how the blood is perfusing the heart muscle, but we get far more out of it than just that. We can find out how much blood the heart is kicking out with each beat, how the blood is working through the heart itself, cross section views of how the heart walls are moving, and an EKG to determine how the electrical components of the heart are working. These are all then processed and sent off to a Radiologist to read and send his results back to your doctor.

Sorry for the essay, and I realize I'm a little bit late in posting this, but I hope this helps anybody else looking for information before they undergo this test.

 
Old 07-11-2009, 03:17 AM   #5
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chrissie_S HB User
Re: Nuclear Stress Test vs. Heart Scan

Thanks for the info on nuclear stress tests as I am to have two in a couple of weeks, one with pharmacolological stress and one the next day without the stress.
I had an angiogram 13 years ago which showed diffuse CAD ( inoperable) and have been on loads of meds since then. Should be interesting to know how things have worsened since then as have signs of heart failure!

 
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