Cardiovascular stress tests involve checking your heart health by mimicking its function during a stressful situation or when performing vigorous activity. Most people don’t notice anything wrong with their hearts until they do something strenuous.
Doctors who want to understand how exactly a patient’s heart reacts during strenuous or stressful moments order a stress test.
The patient is typically asked to either perform an exercise or take medication to mimic stress on the heart during the test. People who cannot exercise can take the drug instead, which makes their heart work harder. Examples include Dobutamine and Regadenoson, which are beta-agonist drugs that make the heart work faster and cause it to beat more strongly.
The heart is then monitored closely by a doctor or technician before, during, and after to see how it changes throughout the time period.
A cardiovascular stress test can help a doctor check on a variety of heart problems, such as inadequate blood flow, heart rate, heart rhythm, blood pressure, and blood-pumping efficiency. Let’s talk about the main types of cardiovascular stress tests, and where you can go in Weatherford and North Texas for outstanding pulmonary and cardiovascular care.
Types of Cardiac Stress Tests
There are a few popular types of cardiovascular stress tests. The right one for you will depend on your specific symptoms, your age, your underlying health, and your doctor’s preference.
Electrocardiogram Stress Test
An electrocardiogram stress test, also called an ECG or EKG (“elektrokardiogramm” in German), is a method to measure how your heart works. Small adhesive electrodes will be placed on your chest to monitor your heart function during the test. The ECG device records the heart’s activity during different levels of exercise or stress, shown in a graph format.
A doctor or technician will check your blood pressure before, during, and after the test. It usually takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete an electrocardiogram.
Echocardiogram Stress Test
Similar to an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram also involves small adhesive electrodes placed on your chest to monitor your heart function. However, with an echo, ultrasound pictures will be taken of your heart before and after the test.
It usually takes 1 to 3 hours to complete an echocardiogram.
Nuclear Medicine Stress Test
A nuclear medicine stress test helps your doctor assess how well your cardiovascular system works. During the test, you will be asked to exercise to the highest strenuous level possible. Once you reach this point, a small amount of radioactive substance will be injected into your body.
Images of the heart are then taken to track where the radioactive material goes and how quickly. Images will also be taken several hours later.
It can take a few hours to complete a nuclear medicine stress test. If there are blockages or other issues, the radioactive material will be able to help the doctor detect and pinpoint it quickly.
Cardiovascular Stress Tests in Weatherford, TX
The pulmonary specialists at Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas are experts in providing care and treatment for patients who have all manner of cardiovascular problems. We are proud to offer state-of-the-art diagnostic testing services, including cardio stress tests.
If you are interested in finding out whether a stress test is right for you, schedule an appointment to talk to one of our experts. We are committed to improving your health condition and quality of life.
To make an appointment with a healthcare provider at the Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas, call our clinic today at (817) 594-9993 or use our online request form. We serve Parker County and the surrounding areas. We look forward to helping you feel better through innovative, high-quality care that focuses on you.