Stress Tests For Heart
Do you want to know more about stress tests for your heart? A stress test, also known as stress echocardiography, is a test using ultrasound to diagnose problems with your heart. The test is often used if your doctor suspects that you have coronary artery disease. If you need a stress test for your heart, the doctor will follow the following procedure:
- First, your doctor will perform a resting echocardiogram. This means that he or she will take an ultrasound picture of your heart to see its structures and what it looks like while beating.
- Next, you will be asked to exercise until your heart reaches a certain rate, either walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike. This is the stress part of the stress test. People who are unable to exercise may be given medication to raise their heart rates. Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure and heart rhythm during the stress test using a blood pressure cuff and electrodes on your chest, arms and legs. Ultrasound images will also be recorded.
- Immediately after the target heart rate has been reached, another echocardiogram is taken. This will reveal whether blocked arteries are keeping any parts of your heart from receiving enough blood or oxygen. This means you may need a procedure to unclog blocked arteries.
- If your doctor prescribes a stress test for your heart, wear loose, comfortable clothing. You should not eat or drink during the three hours before the test. The procedure is safe and should not be painful.