Cardiology Associates of Frederick
Cardiologists located in Frederick, MD
Stress testing is the one diagnostic tool available that reveals how well your heart functions when it works harder. The board-certified providers at Cardiology Associates of Frederick perform several types of stress testing in the office. During your test, you’re constantly supervised by qualified health care professionals who ensure you stay safe as they evaluate your heart. To schedule stress testing or a cardiology evaluation, call the office in Frederick, Maryland, or request an appointment online today.
Stress Testing Q & A
What is stress testing?
A stress test reveals how well your heart functions when physical activity forces it to pump more blood. During a stress test, your heart’s electrical activity is continuously monitored and recorded using an electrocardiogram (ECG). Evaluating the electrical activity while you exercise provides valuable information about your heart’s overall health.
When might I need stress testing?
Your provider at Cardiology Associates of Frederick may perform a stress test to determine the cause of symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations.
In addition to diagnosing heart conditions, a stress test also shows the severity of the problem. The conditions often diagnosed in patients needing a stress test include:
- Heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart arrhythmias
- Heart valve disease
- Ischemic heart disease
Stress testing can also help evaluate the effectiveness of current heart treatments.
What happens during an exercise stress test?
When you have an exercise stress test, your heart is forced to work harder when you walk on a treadmill. Your provider places electrodes on your body and connects them to the ECG machine. They also place a blood pressure cuff on your arm so they can occasionally take your blood pressure during the test.
Your test begins slowly, and your provider gradually increases your exercise level by boosting the speed on the treadmill. The stress test continues until you reach your peak heart rate or you need to stop because you develop symptoms like chest pain.
Are there other types of stress testing?
Yes, there are several types of stress tests. You may have one of the following:
Chemical or pharmaceutical stress test
If you can’t tolerate exercise but you need a stress test, your provider can boost your heart rate using medications.
Nuclear stress test
Before and after your stress test, your provider injects a small amount of radioactive medication into your bloodstream and uses a specialized camera to take images of your heart. The camera detects energy released by the radioactive tracers, showing information about blood flow through the muscles in your heart.
Your provider takes a Doppler echocardiogram before and after your stress test. Like a nuclear stress test, comparing the two images reveals the changes in your heart caused by exercise.
If you have questions about stress testing or you need to schedule an appointment, call Cardiology Associates of Frederick or book an appointment online today.
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