A nuclear stress test is a medical procedure that uses a radioactive tracer to measure the blood flow to your heart. It can take two or more hours, depending on the type of tracer and imaging tests used. After the test, you may feel tired or dizzy, or have a headache, but these symptoms should go away with time and rest. The radioactive fluid will remain in your body for 24 to 36 hours after the test, helping to remove it from your system.
Although you will be exposed to a small amount of radiation during the test, it is considered safe. On average, you will be exposed to 11 millisieverts of radiation - about three times the dose of radiation you receive just for living your normal daily life for a year. If you are considering a nuclear stress test, it is important to understand the risks and benefits associated with it. Talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have before undergoing the procedure.