An exercise stress test, sometimes referred to as a treadmill test, helps a physician to find out how well your heart handles exertion. As your body works harder during the test, it needs more oxygen and requires the heart to pump more blood. The test can demonstrate whether or not the blood supply is reduced in the arteries that supply the heart. Additionally, it allows the physician to assess the kind of level of exercise appropriate for the patient.
A nuclear stress test is a diagnostic test used to evaluate blood flow to the heart. During the test, a small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into a vein. A special gamma camera detects the radiation released by the tracer to produce computer images of the heart. Combined with exercise, the test can help determine if there is adequate blood flow to the heart during activity versus at rest.