Stress Testing Specialist

Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists

Cardiovascular Specialists & Interventional Cardiologists located in Downriver Area, Southgate, MI

Stress testing is the only diagnostic tool that shows how well your heart responds when it’s forced to work harder and pump more blood out to your body. The experienced providers at Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists perform several types of stress tests in the office, where highly qualified medical professionals supervise you. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, call the Downriver area office in Southgate, Michigan, or use the online booking system today.

Stress Testing Q & A

What is a stress test?

A stress test shows how your heart performs when it has to work harder than normal. In addition to evaluating how your heart responds to exercise, a stress test can also trigger heart problems that don’t occur when you rest.

When do I need a stress test?

Your provider at Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists performs a stress test to determine the cause of symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Stress tests help diagnose heart conditions and show the severity of the disease. Heart problems often identified during a stress test include:

  • Heart failure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Heart valve disease
  • Ischemic heart disease

You may also need to take a stress test to determine how well your current heart treatment is working.

What happens during an exercise stress test?

An exercise stress test forces your heart to work harder when you walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike. 

Your provider places electrodes on your chest, arms, and legs so they can continuously record your heart rate with an electrocardiogram (EKG). They also monitor your blood pressure during the stress test.

You begin slowly, and your provider gradually increases the intensity of your exercise. Exercise stress tests continue until you reach the targeted heart rate or you need to stop due to symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain.

What other type of stress test might I need?

You may have one of the following stress tests:

Chemical stress test

If you can’t tolerate exercise, your provider injects medication that increases your heart rate.

Nuclear stress test

Before and after your exercise or chemical stress test, your provider infuses radioactive dye into your body. Then they use a specialized camera that shows the dye as it flows through your heart. A nuclear stress test shows the exact areas of your heart that don’t get enough blood when your heart works harder.

Stress echocardiogram

Your provider takes a Doppler echocardiogram before and after your exercise or chemical stress test. The echocardiogram uses ultrasound to create images of your heart. By comparing the before-and-after images, your provider can see changes in your heart caused by the stress test.

To learn more about stress tests or to schedule an appointment, call Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists, or use the online booking feature today.