Stress testing is a series of assessments that are performed by a cardiac specialist in order to test for heart disease. Practitioners are looking for evidence that will indicate how much stress a person’s heart can endure before an indication of distress should occur. We encourage you to learn more information about how stress tests are performed, what can be learned through them and whether you may benefit from the procedure.
The types of indicators of distress to look for during a stress test are an abnormal heart rhythm or signs of ischemia, which occurs when not enough blood is able to flow to the heart. Though there are various types of stress testing, the exercise stress test is the most common.
Other names for this assessment include the treadmill test, stress ECG and graded exercise test. During the exam, your heart rate, blood pressure and an electrocardiogram are monitored while you perform increasingly strenuous exercises on a treadmill or stationary bike.
Stress testing can accomplish quite a few things. If you are currently under treatment for angina or ischemia, a stress test can help to determine how effectively your medication is currently controlling the issue. It can also be used as a preventive measure to provide insight into how likely you are to develop coronary heart disease, allowing our doctor to develop the best plan of treatment.
Of course, the measurements taken during testing can give insight into whether your heart is receiving adequate blood flow and determine if abnormal health rhythm is present. If you’ve had a recent cardiac procedure, a stress test can indicate the effectiveness of that treatment.
Finally, this kind of test gives practitioners an overall picture of the function of your heart valves and assists them in developing an exercise program that is safe for your specific situation.
As noted, the treadmill test is the most commonly used type of stress test. However, there are several others. A stress echocardiogram provides a graphic depiction of your heart’s movement. It shows how the heart’s walls move and the amount of pumping that occurs with physical exertion. Lack of blood flow can be seen in this type of exam, but not in others.
During a nuclear stress test, a safe amount of radioactive liquid is injected into your body, allowing our doctor to see which specific parts of the heart may not be working optimally.
Stress testing at Cardiac Associates of North Jersey is very effective in detecting and preventing cardiac problems while also assessing overall heart function. Our doctor will likely recommend some sort of stress assessment if there is a concern about your heart health. During a consultation at our office in Oakland, you can get all of the facts about stress testing. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation to learn more, or to book your appointment for stress testing.