Our Cardiovascular Care Center provides various types of heart stress tests to help identify and diagnose heart disease. Cardiologists use the Cardiac Stress Test for different reasons depending on your condition. Our team may recommend a Cardiac Stress Test for the following reasons:
- evaluate the cause of chest pain
- measure the strength of your heart after a heart attack or surgery
- establish a baseline for patients who have cardiac risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a family history of coronary artery disease
- determine how well your heart tolerates exercise and activity
Cardiac nurses perform a focused interview with you to assess the appropriateness of the test, provide a thorough explanation of the test and to address any questions or concerns you may have.
During the stress test, a cardiovascular technician and a Cardiologist or Nurse Practioner will carefully monitor your responses; this will include blood pressure, heart rate and the electrocardiogram. A nurse will be present to assist the provider, supervising the test when needed.
We also offer enhanced Exercise Stress Testing with the Nintendo Wii. Enjoy a scenic stroll through the villages, over bridges, past waterfalls and more, all while completing your prescribed stress test.This helps takes the stress out of your stress test.
After the test, the study will be reviewed by a Cardiologist who specializes in Exercise Stress Testing.
Nuclear Stess Testing (with or without pharmacological agents)
An imaging stress test, also called a Nuclear or Sestamibi Stress Test, is similar to the Exercise Stress Test but provides more information by using images to show the blood flow to the heart muscle. The test uses a radioactive substance, which mixes with the blood and enters into the cells of the heart muscle. If the substance does not reach the heart, it means the arteries may be blocked or there may be damage to the heart. Our state-of-the art nuclear imaging system ensures early detection of heart disease, which is often the key to preventing serious illness.
The radioactive substance is injected two times - once at rest and once when you are at peak exercise. It is usually performed in conjunction with an Exercise Stress Test, using either conventional exercise on a treadmill, or by using a medication. The medications currently being used to dilate your blood vessels (mimics the effect of exercise) are adenosine, regadenoson and dobutamine.
When your physician schedules your test, it is important to ask your referring physician if you should take any of your medications prior to the test. We recommend that you wear walking shoes and a comfortable two-piece outfit for all of the tests.