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Treadmill Stress Test

Test Preparation

  • You will receive a reminder call 48 hours prior to your test. Confirmation must be received at least 24 hours in advance or the test will be cancelled.

  • Please do not consume caffeine 12 hours prior to the stress test appointment. This includes caffeinated drinks (soda, coffee, tea, etc.), decaffeinated coffee or tea, energy drinks, chocolate, etc. If you have any caffeine, we will have to reschedule your test. 

  • No smoking 12 hours prior to the test. 

  • No eating or drinking 4-6 hours prior to the test. 

  • Take normal medications prior to test. 

About the Test

A nuclear stress test measures blood flow to your heart both at rest and while your heart is working hard from exertion on a treadmill. 


The test provides images that can show areas of low blood flow through the heart and damaged heart muscle. The test provides two sets of images of your heart — one while you are at rest and one after your heart is stressed by exercise on a treadmill. The test can take up to 3 hours and will follow a sequence similar to this:

  • You will be injected with a radioactive dye into your bloodstream by IV. 

  • Pictures of your heart will be taken at rest. 

  • You will then be asked to walk/run on a treadmill. The speed and elevation will gradually increase as the test progresses. The goal of the stress test is to have your heart reach a certain heart rate, which the technician will inform you of. If you experience unwanted symptoms during the treadmill portion of the test you can request for it to be stopped. 

  • Once the heart rate is achieved another dose of the radioactive dye is injected. 

  • Once the treadmill is stopped you will rest on a bed for at least 5 minutes or until you have recovered from exertion and your heart rate and blood pressure approach resting baseline. 

  • You will then have a second set of pictures taken of your heart. 

After the Test

Once the test is complete you will be able to drive home. The physician will review the test, and the results will be provided to you at your next appointment or by phone.

Cancellation Notice

Because of the medication required for the test, you must confirm your appointment at least 24 hours in advance or your appointment will be canceled. If you need to cancel, please do so at least 24 hours in advance to avoid a $125 cancellation charge. Call (785) 539-4644 with questions.

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