WHAT IS A STRESS TEST?
There are many different kinds of stress tests for different systems and portions of the body. However, stress test without specification in the medical field, usually refers to cardiac stress test. The most common cardiac stress test involves physical exertion while monitoring the heart. It is used to observe how the heart and cardiovascular system respond to physical stress. It can be performed by exercising on a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike while increasing the intensity of the exercise and simultaneously monitoring blood pressure, heart and heart rate. The results of stress tests can help physicians diagnose heart disease by determining if there is an abnormal heart beat and if there is enough blood flow in and out of the heart.
DO I NEED TO BE TESTED?
- Medical history of heart disease
- Family history of heart disease
- Post heart attack or heart bypass surgery
- Determine exercise limits for person with heart condition history
- History of high blood pressure
These are some of the reasons that individuals might need a stress test evaluation. If you have experience with any of these, contact a cardiologist to determine if getting a stress test may provide some valuable answers about your health.
KINDS OF STRESS TESTS
- Treadmill or other stationary exercise machine test- Usually the first test performed if you can walk. This test involves using an echocardiogram(echo) to determine if the heart is functioning properly.
- Stress echocardiogram- An echocardiogram stress test provides a visualization of the heart and its movement and function. This advanced echo allows physicians to see the heart move in real-time and observe how it responds to stress
- Nuclear stress test- A small amount of radioactive substance is injected into the body and then a special camera is used to produces images from rays emitted from the substance. This can produce very clear images of the heart, and help determine whether it is functioning properly at rest and after exercise.
- Drug-induced stress test- This test is used if you are unable to exercise. Dobutamine or Adenosine are drugs used to induce cardiovascular stress. This allows the heart function to be assessed without exercise.
STRESS TESTING IN BURLINGTON, NC
At Kernodle Clinic, we can provide you with the cardiac stress test that you need. Our stress tests include:
- Stress echocardiography
- Nuclear stress testing
- Exercise treadmill stress testing
We have complete cardiology departments at two of our locations, Burlington, NC and Mebane, NC. Learn more about our cardiology services and contact us if you have cardiac concerns.