What is a Stress Test?
March 6, 2020
Hello my name is Greg Putra, manager
cardiopulmonary diagnostics in cardiac and pulmonary rehab here at Allegiance Health.
Today we’re going to be talking about cardiac stress testing. The indication
for cardiac stress testing is to look at the physiologic effects of your heart.
We want to look at the rate at which your heart is beating, we want to look at the
response of the heart rate, we also want to look at the response that you have
with blood pressures during the test. So, we’re physically looking at the heart
physiologic action or the action of the heart and how it’s working under stress.
Now the indications for the cardiac stress test are many. It can be for
cardiac evaluation for surgery it can be for a patient who comes into our
emergency department with chest pain and it’s unspecified. So we have a cardiac
stress test to identify whether or not there’s been any type of damage to the
heart. All patients who come in for cardiac stress testing, independent of
the type of tests that they have, have to have a standard 12 lead EKG
electrocardiogram prop attached to them so that we can effectively monitor the
rhythm of the heart. We have a number of cardiac stress tests that we perform and
a lot of it depends upon what we’re looking for and the level of the
patient’s ability to perform a test. With our cardiac stress testing, obviously we
try to get patients to perform exercise. Exercises the best way to stimulate the
heart and to get an accurate view of how the heart is responding. In many
situations a patient is not physically able to exercise so we have to resort to
using a chemical stress test, either an adenosine or dobutamine to simulate that
activity of the heart to evaluate the function, blood pressure, the heart rate,
and the ECG changes if any of the cardiac stress test. We do probably
anywhere from 10 to 15 cardiac stress tests a day, a variety. Today I think
we’re doing some, half of our tests are chemical. We have many that are walking
tests and we have three or four of the echo stress tests. So we’re very versed
in it, it’s a very safe procedure, it’s something that’s very diagnostic and
it’s helpful for the cardiologist and your family physician to determine what
your heart is doing.