Of all the tests available to identify problems with your heart, stress testing is the only one that shows how the heart works when you exercise. The team at Trident Cardiology Associates, PA, performs several types of stress tests so they can accurately diagnose your heart condition and develop individualized treatment. To schedule a stress test or a cardiology consultation, call the office in Ladson, Walterboro, or Moncks Corner, South Carolina, or use the online booking system today.
A stress test shows how well your heart performs when increased physical activity forces it to pump more blood. Evaluating the electrical activity in your heart while at rest and when exercising or under stress provides important information about the heart’s overall health. Additionally, some heart problems only occur when you’re active.
Stress testing helps to:
Your provider at Trident Cardiology Associates, PA, may also perform a stress test to determine a safe level of exercise.
Your provider places electrodes on your chest and connects them to an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine. The ECG records your heart’s electrical activity before and during your stress test. You also wear a blood pressure cuff so your provider can check your blood pressure while you exercise.
During most stress tests, you walk on a treadmill. This exercise stress test starts slowly. Then your provider gradually increases the speed of the treadmill to boost your heart rate.
The stress test continues until you reach your peak heart rate or develop uncomfortable symptoms. Highly trained medical professionals stay with you throughout the stress test, so you have immediate care if you don’t feel well.
In addition to exercise stress testing, your provider may perform one of the following:
If you can’t tolerate exercise or have difficulty walking on the treadmill, your provider injects medications that increase your heart rate. Your provider may use Adenocard®, Lexiscan®, or Dobutrex®.
During a nuclear stress test, your provider combines nuclear imaging with a stress test. They perform nuclear imaging by injecting a radioactive dye into your bloodstream. Then a specialized machine picks up the radiation, creating images of the blood as it flows through your heart.
They take an image before and after your stress test and compare the differences in blood flow. A nuclear stress test provides details about blood flow problems that don’t appear on other types of imaging.
Your provider takes an echocardiogram before and after your stress test. Echocardiograms use ultrasound to produce images of your heart.
If you have questions about stress testing or need to schedule an appointment, call Trident Cardiology Associates, PA, or book an appointment online.