Nuclear stress tests involve a significant amount of radiation exposure, equivalent to 400 chest x-rays. While the benefit of the information obtained from a nuclear stress test, when done properly, far outweighs any potential hazard from radiation exposure, pregnant women should not undergo a nuclear scan and patients who undergo several procedures involving radiation exposure should discuss the issue with a doctor to ensure that the total dose does not exceed safety limits. On average, during a typical nuclear stress test, you are exposed to 11 millisieverts of radiation. This is about three times the dose of radiation you receive just for living your normal daily life for a year.
The amount of radiation you receive during a nuclear stress test is monitored and regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC sets limits on the amount of radiation that can be safely administered to patients during medical procedures. The NRC also requires that all medical facilities that use radiation in their procedures have safety protocols in place to ensure that patients are not exposed to more radiation than necessary. The amount of radiation you receive during a nuclear stress test is relatively small compared to other medical procedures that involve radiation exposure.
For example, a CT scan can expose you to up to 10 times more radiation than a nuclear stress test. It is important to remember that the amount of radiation you receive during a nuclear stress test is monitored and regulated by the NRC. While there is some risk associated with any medical procedure involving radiation exposure, the risk is minimal when compared to the potential benefits of the procedure.