Exercise Stress Testing
 
 

After talking at length with you about your symptoms, and a thorough physical examination, your physician may decide that an exercise stress test would be helpful. For patients with chest pain, shortness of breath, diabetes, history of cigarette smoking, family history of coronary disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, the diagnosis of coronary artery disease may be considered. This disorder involves blocked arteries that supply blood, oxygen, and nutrition to the heart. An exercise stress test is a noninvasive tool to determine whether coronary artery disease is present, if present how serious, and whether cardiac catheterization is necessary. Typically, an intravenous (IV) line is placed in the arm. Electrocardiographic (EKG) leads are placed on the chest, and a baseline blood pressure is taken. For those able to exercise, you will be asked to exercise on a treadmill with gradual increases in speed and inclination. For those that find the treadmill difficult to manage, the “stress” can be given with an intravenous medication called adenosine. An injection of radioactive isotope is administered through the IV line. Pictures of the heart are taken before and after exercise. The pictures and measurements will be read by a physician in the group. The results will then be discussed with you by your physician.