Heart and Circulatory System

Which radioactive isotopes are used in a nuclear stress test?

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  • A answered

    Some cardiologists prefer to use thallium-201, while others use technetium-99m, which is also known as Cardiolite (technetium-99m sestamibi) or Myoview (technetium-99m tetrofosmin). Still others use both radioisotopes in what is known as a dual-injection protocol.


    These radioisotopes have different properties from one another, but they all travel to your heart in proportion to the amount of blood flow. Therefore, the nuclear camera will detect more radioactivity in areas of the heart that have good blood flow and less radioactivity in areas that are being deprived of blood and oxygen because of a clogged coronary artery.

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How is a nuclear stress test performed?