Cardiac imaging provides pictures of your heart and cardiac vessels to see how your heart is performing. The noninvasive diagnostic tests – including X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds – help us diagnose various heart and vascular conditions. At Cardiovascular Medicine, we offer advanced imaging tests so we can successfully treat and manage all types of cardiovascular diseases.
When to See a Cardiovascular Specialist
If you are at risk for heart disease or have symptoms that concern you, our comprehensive testing can help identify any issues. Conditions that we diagnose with cardiac imaging include:
Our range of cardiac diagnostic tests can provide the information you need to make informed decisions about your healthcare. Deciding which test is right for you will depend on several factors, including your symptoms and individual circumstances. Our diagnostic testing options include:
We offer an array of procedures to treat and manage your cardiovascular condition so you can feel better. Working alongside you, we design a treatment plan that will allow you to feel better and return to doing the things you love. Our treatment options include:
Stress EKG Testing
What is Stress EKG Testing?
A stress EKG test, also known as a cardiac stress test or exercise stress test, provides insight into how your heart functions during physical activity. Because exercise causes your heart to pump faster and work harder, it provides a window for identifying issues with blood flow and more.
In a stress EKG test, we assess your heart as you walk on a treadmill. The speed will increase over the course of the test, making your heart work increasingly harder. If you aren’t able to exercise, we can also give you medication that simulates exercise.
During the test, we will be monitoring your blood pressure, breathing, and oxygen levels. An electrocardiogram (EKG) will record your heart rhythm. We will also note any symptoms you experience, such as chest discomfort or fatigue. If we observe abnormalities in your readings or worsening physical symptoms, this could indicate heart disease or disorder.A stress EKG test can be a useful diagnostic tool in deciding whether to perform further cardiac imaging tests.
What to Expect During Stress EKG Testing
The purpose of a stress test is to see how well your heart handles physical activity.
On the day of the test, we'll start with getting a baseline reading of your vital signs. After that, we will attach electrodes to your chest and arms that will connect to the EKG. We'll begin the walk at an easy pace, which will gradually increase in intensity. Throughout the test, we will check in with you to see how you're doing.
The test will last as long as we need to gather enough information about your heart's function, usually about 10-15 minutes. We can stop the test early if you experience severe symptoms.
After the exercise portion of the test is complete, we'll monitor your vitals until they return to normal. Once you're feeling okay, you can go home.
Risks & Side Effects
Am I a Candidate?
We recommend stress EKG tests for people who have symptoms of coronary artery disease. It is also one of the cardiac diagnostic tests we use to check for arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythms, when your heart beats too fast or too slow. We especially recommend the test for older men who have other risk factors, such as being overweight or having high cholesterol, in addition to their symptoms.
Stress EKG tests are also useful in guiding our treatment protocol for many heart conditions. After your diagnosis and when treatment begins, we may use stress EKG tests to measure the effectiveness of our treatment. Your results help us decide whether to continue on our path or try something new.
We may also use a stress EKG test to determine the general health of your heart before certain events, such as surgery.
More on Stress EKG Testing
How to Prepare for a Stress EKG Test
To get the most accurate readings on a stress EKG test, we ask that you do a few things to prepare.
- Avoid caffeine (tea, coffee) and products with caffeine for 24 hours before the test.
- Avoid certain medications — your doctor will let you know which ones.
- Do not eat anything in the hours leading up to the test.
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products.
- Wear comfortable clothing and running or walking shoes.
Common Symptoms That May Require a Stress EKG Test
- Chest pain or tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Thumping or heavy heartbeats
- Palpitations or fluttering heartbeats