Ask the doctor: Are there noninvasive alternatives to a nuclear stress test?
Q. After I had an abnormal electrocardiogram, my doctor wants me to have a nuclear stress test to check my arteries for any blockages. (I also have a left side bundle block.) What noninvasive test would give as much information (or almost as much) as a nuclear stress test? I have had many scans, for this and that, so I would like to limit my exposure to radiation if possible.
A. There are a number of options to test for coronary artery blockages. The gold standard is coronary angiography. But since it is invasive, requiring that a catheter be inserted into the heart, imaging tests are often used first to see if a coronary angiogram is needed.