Heart Beat: Nuclear stress test may stress nuclear detectors

Heart Beat

Nuclear stress test may stress nuclear detectors

A tiny dose of radiation given during a stress test can help pinpoint the source of chest pain or gauge the extent of artery blockage. It can also set off an anti-terror radiation detector.

A letter in the July 23, 2005, issue of The Lancet describes the case of a commercial pilot who triggered radiation detectors in a Moscow airport two days after having a thallium stress test. Similar incidents have been reported at banks, in a highway tunnel leading into New York City, at the White House, on a street in Escondido, Cal., and at a border crossing between Canada and the United States.

Radiation lingering in the body after a nuclear stress test doesn't pose a danger to you or others. But it can be enough to set off a radiation detector for up to 30 days after a thallium test.

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