Cardiac Stress Tests Types of Stress Testing Exercise Treadmill Stress Test This test requires the patient to exercise on a treadmill while being monitored by EKG to assess for any changes in the EKG during the stress of exercise. Echocardiogram Stress Test Using ultrasound technology, an echocardiogram captures sound waves that are recorded as computer images. These images are interpreted by a board certified Cardiologist. The “stress” portion of the echocardiogram can be accomplished with exercise on a treadmill or using dobutamine. Dobutamine is a medication that speeds the heart rate and simulates exercise to stress the heart. The patient is constantly monitored by a continuous EKG. An echocardiogram is performed before stress and immediately afterwards to assess cardiac function and determine if there are any blockages present. Please click on Stress and Dobutamine Echocardiogram for important information. Nuclear Stress Test This test utilizes a small dose of a radioactive material (isotope) injected through an IV which flows in the blood stream and is “taken up” (absorbed) by the muscle in the heart. While the patient lies on their back on a bed (much like as if they were undergoing an x-ray) images of the heart are captured and recorded. The amount of radioactive material “taken up” by each area of the heart is then measured by a computer. This procedure determines if there is blockage in the arteries of the heart by how much radioactive material that area “takes up.” A “stress” component of this test can be accomplished via exercise on a treadmill or using a medication to simulate exercise. Please click on nuclear stress test for important information.