The Dobutamine and Adenosine Nuclear Stress Test is a diagnostic Nuclear Medicine exam used to determine if the heart muscle is getting the blood supply it needs. 
  • Do not eat or drink anything four hours before the test. 
  • Do not take any of your medications the morning of your appointment, unless directed by your physician. 
  • Bring a list of your current medications, including the dose. 
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and exercise shoes. 
  • For adenosine, do not consume caffeine 24 hours prior to the test. 
We obtain a brief history emphasizing current symptoms and pertinent family history. A small intravenous (IV) line is inserted into your arm and electrodes are attached to your chest. The first dose of imaging agent is injected through the IV. Resting images are obtained with the nuclear camera moving around your chest. Dobutamine is infused through the IV to increase the heart rate to increase blood flow through the coronary arteries. The effect is similar to what happens during exercise. You are continuously monitored by a physician using an EKG during the infusion. A second dose of imaging agent is injected in the IV. Let the staff know immediately if you are feeling discomfort such as burning, aching, or tightness in your chest or nauseated, dizzy or exhausted. Stress images are obtained 60 minutes after the infusion. Adenosine stress testing will require low level exercise (walking on the treadmill) if the patient is able. 
The test takes approximately four to six hours. 
Q: How long does it take to complete the nuclear stress test?

A: About four hours.


Q: How should I dress for the stress test?

A: Dress comfortably, as you will be using the treadmill. Avoid slippery shoes – running shoes or sneakers are recommended.


Q: What medications should I avoid prior to my nuclear stress test?

A: Please take all your normal medication except these beta-blockers:
Inderol, Atenolol, Tenormin, Coreg, Carvedilol, Pindolol, Lopressor, Verapamil, Cardizen, Metoprolol, Betapace, Sotalol, Toprol, Nadolol.
You may bring any of these with you to take after the test. Please bring a list of medications you are currently taking.


Q: Can I eat or drink prior to my nuclear stress test?

A: Do not drink coffee or tea after midnight before the test. Caffeine-free soda only, and only up until two hours before the test. You may have small amounts of juice up to two hours before the test. Drink as much water as you like, anytime.