Cardiac stress tests

Physicians at Houston Methodist administer cardiac stress tests to see how a patient’s heart performs during physical exercise. A cardiac stress test detects whether your heart is getting enough blood.

Patients with risk factors or symptoms of coronary artery disease, such as unexplained fatigue or shortness of breath, may receive a cardiac stress test. Those with borderline hypertension may also be tested to evaluate blood pressure.

How the Cardiac Stress Test Is Performed 
The test is usually done on a treadmill or stationary bike. A technician will place electrodes (small patches) on your chest. These electrodes are attached to an electrocardiogram (EKG) monitor that charts your heart’s electrical activity.

First, your heart rate will be measured while resting, and then your rate of exercise will be increased to provide a comparison. You will continue exercising until you reach your target or until you start to experience chest pain, shortness of breath and/or dizziness. You can stop the test or ask the technician questions at any time.

A Houston Methodist physician will examine your results and make a diagnosis.


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