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What contrast dye is used for a stress test, and will it exacerbate my history of thyroid cancer?

I took a stress test w/o contrast dye and all was normal except it found biphasic T waves inferior & anterolateral recovering at 8:50 into recovery. LV cavity decreased in size and increased thickening and contractility at peak exercise. Other elements not well visualized. Doctor ordered stress test with contrast. I also have history of papillary cancer of thyroid removed 30 years ago and now have suspicious nodules which will be checked out shortly.  What contrast dye is used for a stress test, and will it exacerbate my possible return of cancer in nodules? Thanks.

submitted by Gloria from Miami, Florida on 7/8/2011


by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, George Younis, MD    

George Younis, MDAssuming you are referring to a nuclear stress test, the nuclear isotope used is often sestamibi, tetrofosmin, or thallium.  Though I am not a thyroid expert, to my knowledge these agents are actually used as part of diagnosing primary and recurrent thyroid cancer and are not known to be associated with increased risk of recurrence.   

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Updated July 2011
Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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