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What To Expect Before a Nuclear Heart Scan

A nuclear heart scan can take a lot of time. Most scans take between 2–5 hours, especially if your doctor needs two sets of pictures.

Discuss with your doctor how a nuclear heart scan is done. Talk with him or her about your overall health, including health problems such as asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), diabetes, and kidney disease.

If you have lung disease or diabetes, your doctor will give you special instructions before the nuclear heart scan.

If you're having a stress test as part of your nuclear heart scan, wear comfortable walking shoes and loose-fitting clothes for the test. You may be asked to wear a hospital gown during the test.

Let your doctor know about any medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, minerals, and other supplements. Some medicines and supplements can interfere with the medicines that might be used during the stress test to raise your heart rate.

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March 9, 2012