Stress Test

Some heart conditions are difficult to detect when your body is at rest. So in order to see how your cardiovascular system functions when you’re active, your cardiologist may recommend a stress test.

Stress Test
A view of your heart function during exercise.

A stress test allows your cardiologist to monitor your heart during a period of exercise. By placing electrodes on your skin, your cardiologist can gather a lot of information about exactly what your cardiovascular system is doing during physical activity.

Before the test, you and your cardiologist will discuss any concerns you may have, as well as your current fitness level, to make sure the test will not put you at risk of injury. During a stress test, your heart will be working hard. You’ll be asked to walk or run on a treadmill until you reach a specific target heart rate. Then you’ll rest for a few minutes while your cardiologist watches for any abnormalities in the readings.

By collecting data about how your blood is flowing through your heart, a stress test can help detect a variety of issues, including coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, valve disease, and deconditioning. A stress test can also be useful in evaluating symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, palpitations, and fatigue.

Your cardiologist will analyze and interpret all the data recorded during the test, go over the results with you, and then use the collected data to develop a treatment plan for your specific condition.