Cardiovascular Imaging
& Diagnostics

Cardiac imaging provides pictures of your heart and cardiac vessels to see how your heart is performing. The noninvasive diagnostic tests – including X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds – help us diagnose various heart and vascular conditions. At Cardiovascular Medicine, we offer advanced imaging tests so we can successfully treat and manage all types of cardiovascular diseases.

When to See a Cardiovascular Specialist

If you are at risk for heart disease or have symptoms that concern you, our comprehensive testing can help identify any issues. Conditions that we diagnose with cardiac imaging include:


Diagnostic Testing

Our range of cardiac diagnostic tests can provide the information you need to make informed decisions about your healthcare. Deciding which test is right for you will depend on several factors, including your symptoms and individual circumstances. Our diagnostic testing options include:

Cardiovascular Treatments

We offer an array of procedures to treat and manage your cardiovascular condition so you can feel better. Working alongside you, we design a treatment plan that will allow you to feel better and return to doing the things you love. Our treatment options include:

Treatments :

Stress Nuclear Cardiology

Understanding Stress Nuclear Cardiology

A nuclear stress test is a cardiac imaging procedure that helps us diagnose heart disease. At Cardiovascular Medicine, we are proud to offer the most comprehensive nuclear cardiology testing services in the area.

Stress nuclear cardiology is one of many types of stress cardiac diagnostic tests. It is sometimes used as a follow-up procedure when a regular cardiac stress test doesn't provide enough information, though we may choose it as an initial procedure for certain patients.

Nuclear stress tests use a small amount of radioactive medicine in conjunction with cardiac imaging to see how well blood flows to your heart. We offer two types of stress nuclear cardiology tests.

What to Expect During a Nuclear Stress Test

The purpose of a nuclear stress test is to see how well blood flows in your heart both during rest and with physical activity. Before your test, we ask that you do a few things to prepare.

1. Eliminate caffeine for 24 hours before the test
2. Fast in the hours leading up to the test
3. Do not smoke or use tobacco products
4. Wear comfortable clothing and running or walking shoes
5. Avoid certain medications — your doctor will let you know which ones

After you arrive for your nuclear stress test, a member of our staff will guide you to an exam room and explain the procedure. You will have the chance to ask any questions at this time. After you sign a consent form, we'll be ready to begin.


When the test is complete, we’ll continue to monitor your vitals until they return to normal. After that, you can resume your normal diet and routine.

Risks & Side Effects

Nuclear stress tests are generally safe for most people, and complications are rare.

Am I a Candidate?

We use nuclear cardiac stress tests to get an in-depth look at your heart’s blood flow and function. It is a useful cardiac imaging test for people who are experiencing symptoms that could indicate coronary artery disease or another heart condition. We will also assess your risk factors alongside your symptoms. In general, older men who are overweight and have additional factors such as high cholesterol or blood pressure would be considered at higher risk.

We may also recommend a nuclear stress test if other testing has not determined the cause of symptoms, such as chest pain or shortness of breath.

More on Nuclear Stress Testing

What is a SPECT Nuclear Stress Test?

A SPECT nuclear stress test, sometimes called myocardial perfusion imaging, looks at the blood flow to your heart muscle. It is performed while your heart is at stress (exercise) and at rest. The stress test can be performed on a treadmill or with a medication that simulates exercise. Small amounts of radioactive medicine are injected through an IV in your arm and a special camera is used to take pictures of the heart.

What is a Pet Nuclear Stress Test?

A PET nuclear stress test is similar to a traditional SPECT nuclear stress test. Blood flow to the heart muscle is evaluated at both stress and rest. A PET nuclear stress test offers several advantages over a SPECT nuclear stress test. These advantages include increased accuracy, a shorter test time, and less radiation exposure. However, a PET nuclear stress test may not be appropriate for all patients. Your doctor will advise you on the best choice for you.

What Happens During My Nuclear Stress Test?

First, we will start by placing an IV in your arm, which will deliver small amounts of radioactive medicine to help us get the clearest images. We'll also place EKG electrodes on your chest. You will lie flat on your back on an imaging table with your arms above your head. From here, we will spend about 10 minutes gathering images at rest, and then we will take images during exercise.

Rare Complications During a Nuclear Stress Test

  •  Arrhythmia
  • Chest pain
  • Heart attack
  • Low blood pressure
  • Heightened risk of developing cancer

Symptoms That Could Indicate Potential Heart Issues or Blockage in the Arteries

  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Thumping or heavy heartbeats
  • Palpitations or fluttering heartbeats

Meet Your Illinois and Iowa
Cardiovascular Physicians

Our team of physicians, researchers, and patient care specialists are focused specifically on cardiovascular best practices and lifesaving heart and vein care. We hire and empower the best cardiovascular doctors in the nation right here in the Heartland.

Patient Success Stories

Our patients live longer, healthier and more unburdened lives, thanks to heart care that counts. Just ask them:

CVM Locations

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Our team of physicians, researchers, and patient care specialists are focused specifically on cardiovascular best practices and lifesaving heart and vein care.

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