ResultsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Your doctor will discuss the results of your nuclear stress test with you. Your results could show:
- Normal blood flow during exercise and rest. If the information gathered during your nuclear stress test shows your heart function to be normal during both exercise and rest, it's unlikely you have coronary artery disease. You may not need any further tests.
- Normal blood flow during rest but not exercise. This means that part of your heart muscle isn't receiving enough blood when you're exercising or doing other strenuous activity. This may mean you have one or more blocked arteries (coronary artery disease).
- Low blood flow during rest and exercise. This means that part of your heart isn't getting enough blood flow at all times, which could be due to severe coronary artery disease or previous heart attack.
- Lack of radioactive dye in parts of your heart. Areas of your heart that don't show the radioactive dye are areas that have damaged tissue (scar tissue) from a heart attack.
If your test results show you don't have enough blood flow through your heart, you may need to undergo coronary angiography — a test to look directly at the blood vessels supplying your heart. If you have severe blockages, you may need a coronary intervention (balloon angioplasty and stent placement) or open-heart surgery (coronary artery bypass).
- Toth PP, et al. Cardiovascular disease. In: Rakel RE. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1160-8..10047-8--s0095&isbn=978-1-4377-1160-8&sid=1213849808&uniqId=285136248-6#4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-1160-8..10047-8--s0095. Accessed Nov. 1, 2011.
- Weiner DA. Advantages and limitations of different stress testing modalities. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 1, 2011.
- Stress testing. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/stress/stress_whatis.html. Accessed Nov. 1, 2011.
- Nuclear heart scan. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/nscan/nscan_all.html. Accessed Nov. 1, 2011.
- Yanowitz FG. Performance of exercise ECG testing. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 1, 2011.
- Papaioannou GI, et al. Exercise radionuclide myocardial perfusion imaging in the diagnosis and prognosis of coronary heart disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 1, 2011.
- Grogan M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 8, 2011.