When a simple stress test may not be adequate, a nuclear stress test may be ordered for evaluation. Scanning/imaging of the heart before and after exercise is performed to evaluate if there is any difference in blood flow to the heart muscle during exercise. Nuclear stress test gives additional information compared with simple stress test.
For patients who cannot exercise, chemical nuclear stress test is sometimes recommended. Scanning and imaging of the heart is done in a similar fashion.
The cardiologist usually decides which would be the most appropriate form of stress test depending on the patient and EKG.