Your physician may order a cardiac stress test during which exercise or a chemical substance is used to "stress" the heart and exposed hidden heart disease or to help rule it out. A stress test is very useful in revealing patients with coronary artery blockage who may have minimal symptoms or an unremarkable EKG at rest.
Our state-of-the-art equipment is combined with the expertise of our physicians and personnel to provide you with the best possible diagnostic experience. With over 8,000 stress testing procedures performed to date at Titus Regional Medical Center, we are well prepared to handle your stress testing evaluations.
The heart may be stressed by having a patient exercise on a treadmill. If the patient is unable to exercise secondary to physical limitations such as arthritis, generalized weakness, paralysis or unsteady gait, a chemical or pharmacologic stress test may be performed. In a chemical stress test, a medicine is given intravenously to perform a comparable degree of cardiac stress. Sometimes a combination method is used, combining the treadmill with medication.
During the test, the patient is connected to an EKG. This involves the attachment of sticky electrodes to the shoulders and hips and a connection to the EKG portion of the stress test equipment. The EKG produces a record on paper the action of the heart. Exercise may provoke arrhythmias or an irregular rhythm which may not be seen at rest and may or may not point to heart disease.