Recent Blog Articles

Heart Health

Ask the doctor: Nuclear stress tests

May 01, 2011

Q. I recently had a nuclear stress test and the contrast agent got stuck in my gut, so the image couldn't be read. Is this a common problem, and is there anything that can be done about it?

A. The purpose of a stress test is to identify problems with blood supply to the heart muscle or the coronary arteries that supply it with blood. The standard test involves measuring the heart's electrical activity with an electrocardiogram (ECG) while the patient "stresses" his or her heart with exercise, which usually means walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.