The heart is the organ responsible for pumping blood throughout the body, thus allowing for the transportation of various different nutrients and substances around the body. The speed of the heartbeat depends on various factors such as the amount of physical exertion that has been applied. When the body is under strain it needs more blood to be transported in order to feed the various muscles and tissues that are working hard. However, at rest, the heart will beat slowly. It is often difficult to notice any abnormalities when this is the case. Hence a cardiac stress test is used.
A cardiac stress test is a test where the heart is made to beat quickly so that any defects can be noted and analyzed. This stress is provided by a treadmill on which the individual will jog and then run according to the instructions provided by the doctor in charge of the procedure. For individuals who are immobile or injured, the cardiac stress test may be performed using a chemical that is injected into the body. This chemical stimulates the heart in the same way that exercising the body would. It is thus effective in speeding up the heart and helping the doctor analyze its condition.
The cardiac stress test begins with standard measurements being made such as blood pressure and heart rate. The individual's chest will be connected via electrodes to a computer. During the cardiac stress test, the individual's heart will beat faster and faster, thus showing off any defects if such defects are present. After the treadmill run, the patient will be tested again to check various parameters of his or her body. The cardiac stress test results will be declared after this is done. In some cases, advanced imaging equipment may be used to scan the heart and check the flow of blood through it. This would increase the scope of the cardiac stress test. The cardiac stress test results also depend on the interpretation of the doctor who is attending to the patient. Certain sensations of pain may not actually be related to the heart which is why the doctor's experience comes into the picture in such a situation. A cardiac stress test usually lasts for about half an hour following which the individual is allowed to return home. The test is conducted with emergency equipment present as this will be useful in case the patient suffers from any sudden cardiac event.More articles from the Stress Tests Category