|ASK THE EXPERT: STRESS TESTS |
ASK THE EXPERT: STRESS TESTS
Q: There is a history of heart
disease in my family, and
I am worried I’ll have a heart
attack. My doctor has recommended
a nuclear stress
test. What’s the difference
between a nuclear stress test
and a regular stress test?
Which is better?
Cardiologist Randolph Panetta,
A: In the last two decades, testing for heart disease
has come a long way. There are many tests available today,
and your or your doctor’s choice depends on your heart condition,
your health history, your symptoms and other factors.
During an exercise stress test, the person being tested walks
on a treadmill while hooked up to special equipment that
monitors heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, electrical
activity and how quickly the person is getting tired.
It shows if the heart’s blood supply is sufficient and if
the heart rhythm is normal.
The nuclear stress test your doctor is recommending is
probably a sestamibi stress test (or MIBI scan). This type of
test shows how well blood flows to the heart during
exercise. During a nuclear stress test, the person being
tested also walks on a treadmill. When he or she reaches
his or her maximum level of exercise, a small amount
of a radioactive substance (sestamibi) is injected into
a vein and travels through the coronary arteries and
into the heart. Then the patient lies down on a table
under a special camera that can detect the radioactive
material and take pictures of the arteries. These images
can help provide more specific information than an
exercise test alone. They can pinpoint the locations of
blockages in the coronary arteries, determine the causes
of chest pain and indicate how well the heart responds
For people who aren’t comfortable with the treadmill
component of these tests, there are medications that
cause the heart to react as if it were being exercised on a
treadmill or bicycle.
Why You Should Choose a Bridgeport Hospital Cardiologist or Cardiovascular Surgeon
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Centers for Medicare
& Medicaid Services (CMS) rates the Heart Institute at Bridgeport
Hospital BEST in Connecticut and among the TOP 5 out of 4,311 hospitals
in the United States for heart attack survival.
This means that if you or a loved one is having a heart attack, you have the
best chance of survival at Bridgeport Hospital. With more than 45 years
of experience, the Heart Institute at Bridgeport Hospital is a nationally
recognized provider of advanced cardiac care.
When choosing a cardiologist or cardiovascular surgeon be sure to select a physician
affiliated with Bridgeport Hospital:
If you would like more information about, or a referral to, any of these expert physicians,
please visit www.bridgeporthospital.com/FindPhysician or call 1-888-357-2396, toll free, 24/7.