A cardiac stress test evaluates how your heart functions while at work. There are two types of heart stress tests: a treadmill or medication test.
If you are not able to exercise, you will be given medication to simulate the strain your heart feels while exercising. During the period of activity an electrocardiogram monitors your heart. Blood pressure and oxygen levels are also recorded during the test. Your doctor may also request a nuclear stress test that requires special imaging pictures before and after your heart stress test.
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the evening prior to your heart stress test. Wear a comfortable two-piece outfit and sneakers if you are having the treadmill test. Your doctor will advise you on any medications you will need to stop taking prior to your test.
What Should I Expect?
Disposable electrodes will be attached to your chest. For the treadmill test, you will start at a slow pace and increase in both pace and incline every three minutes. You will walk on the treadmill until a target heart rate is achieved. If you are having a medication test, an IV will be inserted in to your arm and the medication is given over a period of approximately four to six minutes. You may experience minor chest discomfort, a warm flushing feeling, upset stomach or headache as a result of the medication. Some patients do not experience any effects.
When Will I Receive My Results?
After your Mercy Gilbert cardiologist reads the study, we will send the results of your heart stress test to the ordering doctor. Your doctor will discuss the results with you and determine a plan of action.
We are committed to keeping you comfortable, safe and informed throughout your test. If you have questions or concerns about this test or any of our Cardiopulmonary Services, please call us anytime at (480) 728-7208.