Exercise Stress Test

Stress tests are performed by heart doctors in Long Island to determine the amount of stress that your heart can take before it develops an abnormal rhythm or decreased blood flow to the heart muscle.

This information is useful for:

  • Determining if you have coronary artery disease
  • Identifying abnormal heart rhythms
  • Determining whether your current cardiac treatment plan, if you are following one, is effective
  • Developing a safe exercise program
Exercise Stress Test

Exercise stress tests, also known as a clinical exercise stress test, or a cardiac stress test are the most commonly performed stress tests that provide information on how the heart responds when it is exerted. As your body works harder during the test, the demand for oxygen increases and more blood needs to be pumped. In patients with blocked arteries, this increased demand cannot be met, resulting in symptoms such breathlessness, chest pains and dizzy spells. Any change to the readings that occurs during or after the exercise period indicates an abnormality in the flow of blood to the heart muscle.

Your Long Island cardiologist will place EKG electrodes on your chest to monitor the performance of the heart and apply a blood pressure cuff to the arm to measure your blood pressure. A baseline reading for an echocardiogram, EKG and blood pressure is taken at rest. Exercise is then started on a treadmill that gradually increases in incline and speed. The treadmill is stopped when the patient’s heart rate exceeds 85% of the target rate or the patient develops symptoms. The EKG recordings are taken every minute during exercise and after exercise are stopped. Blood pressure readings are taken every three minutes during exercise and then again at rest. An echocardiogram is performed immediately after exercise.

The entire test takes about 60 minutes and depending upon the results, your vascular doctor in Long Island may or may not order further tests.

Frequently Asked Questions – Exercise Stress Test West Babylon