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Stress Tests for Heart Health at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican Hospitals

Stress tests (sometimes called heart stress tests, treadmill stress tests, or exercise stress tests) show how exercise affects your heart. They measure how much exercise your heart can handle before it becomes a problem. 

Take our heart health assessment to better understand your risk of heart disease. Find a Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals cardiologist or cardiac surgeon with our online tool or call (702) 616-4900 to find out more about stress tests in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.


Why are Heart Stress Tests Performed?

Stress tests help diagnose and monitor:


What to Expect During Exercise Stress Tests

A technician, nurse, or doctor will perform your stress test in Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican's San Martin or Siena Campus or a clinic. The health care provider will attach painless electrodes to your legs, arms, and chest. You’ll also have a blood pressure cuff on your arm.

There are three types of stress tests:

  • Imaging stress tests use either echocardiography or PET scanning to take pictures of your heart while you’re resting and exercising.
  • Dobutamine stress tests use a drug to mimic exercise in people who have difficulty exercising.
  • Standard stress tests involve walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike.

As you exercise, tell your provider if you experience symptoms such as chest pain. You can stop the test if you feel the exercise is too much. The exercise part of the stress test lasts about 15 minutes. With preparation and monitoring afterwards, the entire test takes about an hour. Imaging adds more time.

Possible complications and risks include irregular heartbeats and low blood pressure that usually go away with rest. You may feel jittery until the dobutamine wears off, if used. There is a very small — one in 5,000 — chance of heart attack. You will be monitored closely and the staff will respond to any problems.


Understanding Stress Tests Results in Las Vegas, NV

A cardiologist will tell you the results of your test. Possible outcomes include:

  • Low blood flow during rest and exercise could be a sign of coronary artery disease or damage from a heart attack.
  • Normal function and blood flow during rest, but not exercise could indicate coronary artery disease or another heart condition.
  • Normal function and blood flow during rest and exercise means you may not need any further testing or treatment.

Your doctor may recommend more diagnostic procedures, such as cardiac catheterization, to look inside your heart. Depending on the results, angioplasty or heart bypass surgery may be necessary to treat certain heart conditions.

Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican's San Martin and Siena hospitals offer several types of stress tests in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV, to help our cardiologists identify and treat cardiology conditions.