A cardiac stress test gives important information about the heart muscle and circulation to the heart. It detects electrical impulses from the heart and records the impulses on graphs. The graphs produced by the cardiac stress test can help physicians find the cause of problems such as palpitations, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. Abnormal patterns may indicate injury, disease, or other problems. During the cardiac stress test, electrode (small metal discs which detect electrical impulses) are applied with adhesive to various locations on the chest. You will walk or run on a motor-driven treadmill. Graphs and images are saved by the computer and a cardiologist will analyze the results. Results will then be reported to your physician. Your physician will explain the results and what they mean to you.
If the cardiac stress test is with a nuclear isotope (cardiolite/thallium), a nuclear medicine technician will inject the isotope into an IV line in your arm. You will then have a heart scan while you rest. This will be followed by a cardiac stress test where a second isotope injection will be given. When the cardiac stress test is over, a second heart scan will take pictures of blood flowing through your heart muscle. If you cannot exercise, you may be given a drug to substitute for exercise.
Preparing for Your Cardiac Stress Test with Nuclear isotope (Cardiolite/Thallium)
Unless otherwise advised by your physician, continue taking your medications as usual. If you have been instructed not to take your medications, tell the technician before the test.
- Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Tennis shoes, flat or walking shoes are needed. Do not wear one-piece undergarments.
- Please do not eat, drink or smoke for at least four hours before the test. No caffeine for 24 hours prior to the test.
- Please register 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
- Please bring the physician order to your appointment.
The cardiac stress test with a nuclear isotope (cardiolite/thallium) will take approximately three to four hours. In certain instances, the test may be done over two days.
Scheduling an Appointment
Cardiac stress tests with nuclear isotopes are performed by appointment only. You can schedule an appointment by calling Lake Health's Centralized Scheduling Department at 440-354- 1258 or 440-953-6258.
If you are unable to keep the appointment, please call us to cancel or reschedule.
- Early Diagnosis
- Chest Pain Centers
- Cardiovascular Testing
- Cardiac Cath Lab
- Cardiac Surgery
- Vascular Services
- Vascular Access Services
- Rhythm Management
- Cardiac Rehabilitation
- Heart Failure Clinic
- Women and Heart Disease
- Primary Stroke Center
- Hands-Only CPR