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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.