4 Stress Tests Cardiologists Recommend to Detect Heart Disease

The advancement of technology has given the medical field some highly developed diagnostic tools for stress testing to detect the occurrence and seriousness of cardiovascular ailments. Stress testing is also recommended for patients who had restorative procedures such as bypass grafting or stenting to understand how a repaired heart is functioning.

If someone in your family is showing symptoms of heart disease, a specialist recommends some stress tests that include monitoring heart beat, blood pressure (BP) and electrical activity of the heart. These measurements are recorded when a patient is resting, or once during the stages of a procedure, and also after the test till the BP and heart beat return to baseline levels.

Let’s read this post to learn about some of the common stress tests recommended by physicians.

Graded Exercise Test

This is one of the basic tests, also known as GXT, which examines the vital statistics when a patient is exercising on a cycle ergometer or a treadmill. No matter what is the manner of exercising, these tests are such that the intensity of an exercise would increase every 2-3 minutes till a patient feels exhausted. This test will assess your BP, heart rate, and electrocardiogram (EKG) in response to the intensity of exercises.

Maximal oxygen consumption or VO2 helps you know about the capacity of a patient’s heart to deliver oxygen to the muscles that working. Oxygen consumption is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine throughout the process of testing.

Stress Echocardiogram

This test helps in evaluating the capacity of your heart muscle to relax and contract synchronously. It is a kind of sonogram assessing the movement of the walls of every heart chamber to ensure proper functioning.

Your heart may seem normal during a resting echocardiogram. However, irregularities may manifest after you begin exercising and when more stress is experienced due to the intensity of the exercise. That’s why stress echocardiograms are recommended to identify the variations in your heart wall movement prior to and after a workout.

Nuclear Stress Test

In this test, a radioactive isotope is infused before an exercise and once again when a minute is remaining in an exercise protocol. A patient’s heart tissue absorbs the isotope, and it is then viewed with the help of a tomography camera (which is a single photon emission computed device and like a CT scan). It is also known as ‘myocardial perfusion imaging test’, using images of your heart to detect irregularities in blood circulation to different areas of the heart tissue.

Pharmacological Stress Test

There are instances when patients have some limitations that make them incapable of completing the graded exercise test. For such people, the pharmacological stress test is recommended offering similar diagnostic abilities without a patient having to use a cycle ergometer or a treadmill. In order to become successful with this test, you will be given a drug that imitates your heart’s reaction to exercise. It is generally used with an echocardiogram or a nuclear scan as well as the important vital measurements to determine cardiovascular function.

Which of these stress tests you have undertaken based on the recommendation of cardiologists near Huntington Beach? What were the results of such tests? Please feel free to share your views with us.

Dr. Chane

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