A stress test helps find blood flow problems in your heart when it’s pumping hard. At Carolina Heart and Leg Center in Fayetteville, Lumberton, Erwin, and Saint Pauls, North Carolina, Hari Saini, MD, and the team perform many cardiology tests to diagnose heart conditions, including the stress test. To schedule a consultation with a structural heart specialist, call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.
What is a stress test?
A stress test is a closely supervised diagnostic test that evaluates how well your heart functions when pumping harder and faster. A stress test can find heart conditions that may not appear during other types of tests like an electrocardiogram (EKG) or echocardiogram.
During the test, your provider at Carolina Heart and Leg Center uses an EKG to monitor your heartbeat and a blood pressure cuff to monitor your blood pressure. You then walk on a treadmill, ride a stationary bike, or receive medication to increase the pumping of your heart.
The team monitors and records the data from your EKG and blood pressure readings to diagnose heart disease.
What can a stress test diagnose?
The Carolina Heart and Leg Center team performs a stress test to evaluate the function of your heart and see how well blood pumps through when under stress. The test helps diagnose heart conditions like:
The test also determines how well you tolerate exercise and your risk of having a heart attack.
What are the types of stress tests?
There are a few types of stress tests. The team at Carolina Heart and Leg Center performs the exercise stress test and the echocardiogram stress test.
Exercise stress test
The exercise stress test is the standard test.
For this test, the team reviews your medical history, places electrodes on your chest, and a blood pressure cuff around your arm. You then exercise on a stationary bike or treadmill. Your provider slowly increases the intensity of your workout until your heart reaches a target rate or you start feeling chest pain or shortness of breath.
If you can’t tolerate exercise, the team uses medication to raise your heart rate.
Echocardiogram stress test
For an echocardiogram stress test, the team performs an echocardiogram before and after the exercise portion of the test. The echocardiogram is an ultrasound test that evaluates the structure and function of your heart, as well as the movement of blood through the heart.
For expert cardiovascular care from a highly skilled team, call Carolina Heart and Leg Center or schedule an appointment online today.