The heart responds in different manners to stress. Stress tests are tests which are designed specifically to test how the heart responds to varying physical stresses. Stress is usually seen only when a person is engaged in strenuous activities. Most of the symptoms of heart diseases are not apparent at the time of rest.
There are several types of stress tests. The doctor who diagnoses you is usually responsible for deciding which specific procedure will be good in your particular condition.
Out of all the different types of stress tests, this one is the most commonly used. In this test, the patient is made to walk on a treadmill and the heart beat is monitored using an electrocardiogram. Heart activity will be examined at varying speeds and degree of inclination. This safe and non invasive test is useful in determining changes in your heart rhythm and blood flow.
This test is one that uses an echocardiogram while a person is walking on the treadmill. In an echocardiogram, the images of the heart are created using ultrasound waves. There are two aspects to this test. The baseline echocardiogram is taken when the patient is at rest and the second cardiogram is taken when the patient is working out on a treadmill.
Alternatively, an echocardiogram may be first performed when you are exercising and the second echocardiogram is performed immediately after the exercising is finished.
This is one of the many types of stress testing in which the echocardiogram is paired with medication. The medicine Dobutamine is administered intravenously through your arm. Due to this medication, the heart can pump faster when exercising. This type of a test is done for those people who cannot perform an exercise. The testing method is the same-an echocardiogram is done before administering the medicine and another is done after. The changes in the heart activity are then recorded.
The flow of blood is monitored using a radioactive tracer in this type of a test. The flow of blood is monitored when you are exercising and when you are resting to observe changes. Coronary artery disease can be diagnosed using this particular method as the radioactive tracers can help diagnose blockages in the arteries or specific areas where the blood vessels are narrow.
A radioactive tracer is passed into the blood intravenously and then monitored using a scanning camera, once when you are resting and once again when you are walking on your treadmill.