A stress test is a diagnostic technique that assesses blood flow through your heart. Board-certified interventional and vascular cardiologist Oghenerukevwe Odiete, MD, of Peachstate Advanced Cardiac and Endovascular (PACE), in Atlanta, Georgia, Griffin, Georgia & Newnan, Georgia, uses stress tests as an invaluable tool for the diagnosis of a variety of heart conditions. Call PACE today to find out more or schedule an appointment using the online booking form.
A stress test is also known as an exercise stress test because it involves you doing physical activity. As you exercise, an EKG (electrocardiogram) records the electrical activity in your heart.
It’s often the case that the cause of heart-related symptoms doesn’t reveal itself when you’re not doing anything. By increasing your heart rate with a stress test, Dr. Odiete can see any abnormalities in the way your heart’s working.
Dr. Odiete could request a stress test to provide the information he needs to help make an accurate diagnosis of conditions like heart arrhythmias and coronary artery disease (CAD).
You might need to undergo a stress test if you require heart surgery, to determine the optimal time for you to have your operation. A stress test can also provide an insight into your potential need for a heart transplant.
If you’re already on a treatment program for your heart condition, Dr. Odiete can use a stress test to see if you’re improving and by how much.
Before your stress test, Peachstate Advanced Cardiac and Endovascular gives you any instructions on how to prepare. You might need to stop eating after a particular time, or not have any drinks containing caffeine, for example.
Your stress test is likely to take around an hour, but usually, you exercise for only a quarter of that time. In a typical stress test, you walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bicycle, starting slowly and gradually working harder.
You carry on exercising until you increase your heart rate to the target set, or until you’re unable to continue. Your body has electrodes in place, recording the activity of your heart for the EKG machine. When you finish exercising, the electrodes stay in place. Dr. Odiete can then see how your heart responded to the exercise and how well it went back to its resting rate.
There are several other types of stress tests, like stress echocardiography. This works in a similar way to the standard stress test but uses ultrasound technology to examine heart function.
Some patients need to undergo nuclear stress testing, which involves having an injection of radioactive dye. The dye shows up on diagnostic imaging tests, detailing areas of damage in your heart or poor blood flow.
Some patients can’t do a stress test because they’re too sick to exercise, in which case Dr. Odiete can simulate the effects of a stress test using medication to increase your heart rate.
For the best in cardiac care and to schedule a stress test, contact Peachstate Advanced Cardiac and Endovascular (PACE) today or book an appointment online.