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Stress Test Specialist

South Mountain Cardiology

Cardiology located in Tempe, AZ

A stress test is currently the only diagnostic tool that shows how your heart responds when forced to pump more blood than normal. At South Mountain Cardiology, Nadeem Husain, MD, FACC, Patti Cox, MSN, ARNP, and Kim Munneke, MSN, FNP-C, offer several types of stress tests to precisely diagnose heart conditions and guide treatment decisions. To learn more about stress testing or to schedule a heart evaluation, call the office in Tempe, Arizona, or use the online booking feature today.

Stress Test Q & A

What is a stress test?

A stress test is an in-office procedure that shows how your heart functions when forced to work harder than usual. South Mountain Cardiology may perform a stress test to diagnose conditions such as:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart valve disease
  • Cardiomyopathy

You may also need a stress test to determine if you can start exercising after a heart attack or to evaluate how well your current heart treatment is working.

What happens during an exercise stress test?

During an exercise stress test, you walk on a motor-driven treadmill while the recording of your heart rate, EKG, and blood pressure takes place. 

Before the test, your provider places electrodes on your chest. The electrodes connect to the EKG machine that records your heart’s electrical activity. They also place a blood pressure cuff on your arm so they can occasionally check your blood pressure.

You start exercising at a slow speed, and, at regular intervals, your provider increases the speed and incline, making the test progressively more difficult until your heart reaches its peak level.

Your provider stops the test if they detect medical problems. You can also stop the test any time you feel fatigued or develop symptoms. 

What happens during a stress echocardiogram?

A stress echocardiogram is just like an exercise stress test, except that you have an echocardiogram before and after you walk on the treadmill.

An echocardiogram uses ultrasound to create images of your heart. Ultrasound shows details about the structure of your heart. The images also reveal the heart’s function as an ultrasound shows blood flow, valve movement, and muscle contractions.

By comparing the before-and-after echocardiograms, your provider can see how exercise affects blood flow, the heart’s pumping action, and its overall functioning. 

What is a chemical nuclear stress test?

This is a stress test for people who can’t tolerate exercise. Your provider uses medication to boost your heart rate. They also use an IV to inject a radioactive substance called a radiotracer. 

Radiotracers attach to blood cells, and then a specialized camera picks up energy from the tracers. As a result, your provider sees blood flow and metabolic activity in your heart.

If you have questions about stress tests or need to schedule an appointment, call South Mountain Cardiology or request an appointment online today.