Nuclear Cardiac Stress Test

What is a nuclear cardiac stress test?

A lymphoscintigraphy study is a nuclear medicine test. It uses a small amount of radioactive material and a special camera to produce pre- and post-exercise (or pre- and post-medication) images of your heart. These images help your physician assess you for coronary disease and other conditions. Learn more about nuclear cardiac stress test.

Where is the nuclear medicine department located?

We are located in the inpatient radiology department of Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto.

Where should I park?

Park in the main lot in front of the hospital. View a map of the campus.

What entrance should I use?

Enter the hospital through the main entrance. Admissions is to the left as you enter the lobby. View a map of the campus.

What do I need to bring?

Bring a photo ID, your insurance card, and your co-pay (if required).

How should I prepare?

  • Because of radiation exposure, it is vital that you tell us if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or are a nursing mother.
  • For 24 hours before your scheduled appointment time, avoid products that contain caffeine and products branded as "decaffeinated" (such as coffee, tea, or cola).
  • Do not eat or drink anything past the midnight before your appointment.
  • Do not smoke on the day of your appointment.
  • Your physician will need to advise you about which medications you should or should not take before your test, as well as how long before the test you will need to go without the medication. For example, your physician may advise you to stop taking beta-blockers, nitroglycerin, dipyridamole, or isosorbide mononitrate before your test.
  • Dress comfortably, and wear shoes in which you can walk or run.

What should I expect at my exam appointment?

  • Please allow at least 3–5 hours for this appointment.
  • The test has 3 parts:
    1. Resting pictures of the heart
      • A technologist will start an IV in your arm and inject a small amount of radioactive tracer. (Note: The tracer does not contain dye or contrast material. It will not affect kidney function.) You will then wait 15–45 minutes for the tracer to travel to the heart muscle.
      • The technologist will ask you to lie still on the imaging table and will take a series of images of your chest. This part of the process takes about 15 minutes.
    2. Exercise and/or medication stress test
      • EKG leads will be placed on your chest. These leads allow us to monitor your heart during your stress test. We will also monitor your heart rate and blood pressure for the duration of the test.
      • For an exercise stress test, you will be asked to walk on a treadmill. Speed and incline will increase until you reach a target heart rate, or until you show symptoms that limit your exercise.
      • When you reach the target heart rate, a technologist will inject a second dose of radioactive tracer into your IV.
      • If you cannot reach the target heart rate with exercise alone, you may be given medication (regadenoson) to dilate blood vessels in your heart. Then a technologist will inject a second dose of radioactive tracer into your IV.
      • The stress test takes approximately a minute; we will keep you under observation for about 5 minutes before allowing you to leave the stress test room. This waiting period allows us to make sure you do not have any side effects (abdominal discomfort, flushing, headache, shortness of breath) requiring treatment.
    3. Stress pictures of the heart
      • You will return to the imaging table. The technologist will ask you to lie still and will take another series of images of your chest. This part of the process takes about 15 minutes.
      • The technologist will have you lie on your stomach and will take a final set of images. This part of the process takes about 5–10 minutes.

How will I get my results?

A radiologist will interpret the images, write a report, and deliver the results to your doctor via our internal computer system.

Whom do I call if I need more information?

If you need any other information, call us at 662-772-3128 between the hours of 8 a.m – 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Contact Us

Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto

7601 Southcrest Parkway
Southaven, MS 38671



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