A stress test is a type of test used to determine how the heart responds to exertion, or stress caused by exercise. Stress tests can be used to help diagnose a problem with the heart's structure or function, to evaluate blood flow to the heart and to determine the effectiveness of treatment.
Most stress tests are performed using a treadmill. In this test, your heart is evaluated using an electrocardiogram while you're walking on a treadmill, usually at increasing speeds. The electrocardiogram can tell if your heart is receiving enough blood during physical activity (i.e. when the heart being stressed).
A stress echocardiogram is a different type of test that uses ultrasound to monitor heart activity when the heart is exposed to stress and may provide more detailed data than a treadmill test and ECG. When a person is unable to complete a treadmill test, a medication can be given to stress the heart just as it would be during exercise. Then the heart is monitored using an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram or both. Nuclear stress tests use tiny amounts of radioactive dye to measure heart activity and evaluate the blood supply to the heart.
Dr. Daneshrad will give you specific instructions, but generally, you'll need to:
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