How Do You Interpret Your Nuclear Stress Test Results?

Results from a nuclear stress test show either normal blood flow, low blood flow or no blood flow, explains Mayo Clinic. The interpretation of these results has different implications for the patient.

Normal blood flow during stress and rest is one possible result of a nuclear stress test, states Mayo Clinic. In this case, the patient does not need further testing, as all is well with the heart. Another possible result from a nuclear stress test is normal blood flow when resting but not when exercising. In this case, the patient’s heart is not receiving the blood it needs when it is exerted. This often indicates blocked arteries.

Low blood flow during both rest and exercise indicates that part of the heart is not getting enough blood, according to Mayo Clinic. This may be due to a previous heart attack or to severe coronary artery disease. The final possible result from a nuclear stress test may show no flow to areas of the heart. In this case, it is due to tissue damage from a previous heart attack. Those who do not have enough blood pumping through their heart may need to undergo treatment known as coronary angiography to further diagnose the condition.