nuclear cardiology test

Care for your heart with advanced imaging techniques, allowing for in-depth analysis of your heart functions and condition.

Our team of nuclear cardiologists provides accurate diagnostics and management of coronary artery disease, heart disease, and other cardiovascular issues.

At Manhattan Cardiology Care, we make sure you receive the most accurate nuclear cardiology test to check how your heart is functioning and how well blood flows to your heart muscles, guiding you to optimal heart health and peace of mind at every visit.

nuclear cardiology test

what is a
nuclear cardiology test?

Nuclear cardiology test is a specialized medical imaging procedure that uses small radiotracers to create
detailed heart images. The test uses a positron emission tomography and a single photon emission computed tomography scanner.

This non-invasive procedure helps assess the function and structure of the heart systematically, allowing physicians
to diagnose cardiac diseases better. When the task is to visualize the heart’s function, the nuclear cardiology test provides important insights into a patient’s cardiac health.

what does a nuclear cardiology
test measure?

Nuclear cardiology test primarily measures three key aspects of heart health:

Perfusion Imaging

This refers to the flow of blood to the heart muscle during rest and stress (exercise or medication). It helps identify areas of poor blood flow, which may indicate coronary artery disease (CAD).


This measure examines the best activity of the heart, specifically the ejection fraction, which is the percentage of blood pumped out of the ventricles of the heart per beat. This measurement is important for diagnosing heart failure and other diseases.

Heart Tissue

Helps determine if areas of the heart muscle are damaged or scarred from past heart attacks and if these areas are still viable (alive) and could benefit from revascularization.

who is a candidate for
nuclear test cardiology?

A nuclear cardiology test is recommended for patients with heart disease-related symptoms or risk factors.
Potential candidates include:

  • Individuals with chest pain that may indicate coronary artery disease.
  • Patients who have suffered a heart attack, or other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Those with important risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, or a family history of heart disease.
  • Patients undergoing noncardiac surgery with significant cardiovascular risk factors.
  • Patients who have undergone procedures such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery to evaluate the effectiveness of these treatments.
  • Individuals with breathing problems or extreme swings in blood pressure skin rashes.

how is a nuclear cardiology
test done?

The nuclear test cardiology procedure involves several key steps:


The patient may be asked to avoid caffeine, certain medications, and food for some time before the test. Comfortable clothing and shoes are recommended if exercise stress testing is part of the process.

Injection of a Radiotracer

A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream. This radiotracer reaches the heart and emits gamma rays.



The patient lies on a table under a gamma camera, which detects gamma radiation and creates a detailed image of the heart. Photographs are taken when relaxed as well as stressed, caused by exercise or medication.

Nuclear Cardiology Stress Test

If exercise is part of the test, the patient will walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike to get the heart rate up. If the patient cannot exercise, medicines will be used to simulate the effects of exercise on the heart.

Second Image

After the stress test, second images are taken for comparison with
the resting images. This helps detect changes in blood flow to the heart muscle.

benefits of nuclear cardiology

Nuclear cardiology offers several advantages, such as:



The procedure is non-invasive, which means it does not require surgery or significant recovery time.


Accurate Diagnosis
of Blood Flow

Provides accurate information about blood vessels and heart function, helping to correctly diagnose conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart attacks, and more.



Detailed images and functional information help physicians develop optimal treatment plans, whether medications, lifestyle changes, or surgical interventions.


Monitoring Disease

Useful in monitoring cardiovascular disease progression and seeking effective treatment over time.

understanding the results and
what happens next

After the procedure, the results are analyzed by a nuclear cardiologist who specializes in nuclear test cardiology. Findings will be discussed with the patient, highlighting key points, such as:

Presence of Coronary
Artery Disease

Identify areas of decreased blood flow that may indicate blockage in the coronary arteries.


Assessment of how well the heart is beating and whether there is evidence of heart failure or decreased ejection fraction.


Indicates that parts of the heart muscle are damaged and that they can benefit from revascularization.


Suggestions for diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes to improve heart health.


Medications are prescribed or modified
to deal with conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart failure.


In some cases, additional testing may be necessary to gather more information.


When severe blockages or other issues are detected, procedures such as angioplasty, stenting, or bypass surgery may be recommended.

why choose manhattan cardiology care for nuclear cardiology?

At Manhattan Cardiology Care, we provide exceptional cardiovascular care using advanced technology and a patient-centered approach. Here’s why you should choose us for your nuclear cardiology needs:

Experienced Experts

We have a team of highly trained and experienced cardiologists who specialize in nuclear imaging and cardiac care.

Advanced Technology

We use the latest imaging technology to ensure accurate and precise diagnosis.

Comprehensive Care

We offer a simple and comprehensive care experience from the consultation to the follow-up care.


Individualized Treatment Plan

Each patient receives a customized treatment plan based on their specific health needs and risk factors.

Patient Education

We believe in empowering our patients with knowledge. We take the time to explain the procedure, side effects, and recommended treatment in detail.

frequently asked questions

What is a cardiac nuclear stress test?

Cardiac stress testing is a way to determine cardiac function and blood flow during physiological stress. It can combine exercise or medical stress with nuclear imaging to detect abnormal blood flow to the heart. A cardiac nuclear stress test involves injecting a radiotracer into the bloodstream and taking pictures of the heart at rest and after stress to give detailed information about how well the heart is working and whether the heart disease or low blood pressure.

What is a nuclear heart test?

A nuclear heart test, also known as a myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) test, is a type of nuclear cardiology procedure used to examine the blood supply to the heart muscle. It involves inserting a radioactive probe and imaging with a gamma camera to determine the quality of blood flow to different parts of the heart. This test helps to diagnose pulmonary artery disease or stable ischemic heart disease, determine the severity of heart failure, and plan appropriate treatment strategies.

What is involved in a nuclear cardiac stress test?

The nuclear stress tests involve several steps:

The patient is instructed to avoid eating, drinking, or taking certain medications for a few hours before the test.

Resting Images
The patient receives an injection of a radiotracer while at rest. After allowing time for the tracer to circulate, a gamma camera captures heart images.

Stress Induction
The patient undergoes physical exercise (usually on a treadmill or stationary bike) or receives a medication that mimics the effects of exercise on the heart. Also, the dobutamine stress test is used if you’re unable to exercise. This increases the heart’s workload and blood flow.

Nuclear Stress Test
Another injection of the radiotracer is given at peak exercise or after medication administration. The Regadenoson stress test is the most used. Images are retaken to assess enough blood flow during stress.

The resting and stress images are compared to identify any areas with reduced blood flow or damage, indicating potential blockages or other heart issues. A nuclear stress test can diagnose coronary artery disease and show how severe the condition is.

The test provides valuable information on the heart’s blood supply, function, and overall health, aiding in diagnosing and managing cardiovascular conditions.