Overview » Good To Know » Stress Test Info

A cardiac stress test is a medical test that is performed to evaluate arterial blood flow to the heart muscle during exercise, as compared to blood flow while at rest.

The stress test helps your doctor find out how well your heart handles work. As your body works harder during the test, it requires more oxygen so the heart must pump more blood. A stress test can show if the blood supply is reduced in the arteries that supply the heart. It also helps doctors know the kind and level of exercise appropriate for a patient.

Your physician may recommend a stress test for various reasons:

  • To diagnose coronary artery disease.
  • To diagnose a possible heart-related cause of symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or lightheadedness.
  • To determine a safe level of exercise for you.
  • To check the effectiveness of procedures done to improve coronary artery circulation in patients with coronary artery disease.
  • To predict the risk of dangerous heart-related conditions such as a heart attack.

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recommends EKG treadmill testing as the first choice for patients with medium risks of coronary artery disease based upon the risk factors of smoking, family history of coronary disease, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

If you have risk factors for heart disease, a stress test can help prevent a heart attack.

Contact your physician or one of our cardiologists to learn more.