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Stress Test

Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center

Cardiovascular Disease Specialists & Interventional Cardiologists located in North Houston, Tomball, TX

When you have unexplained symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or dizziness, you may benefit from a stress test. Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center in Tomball, Texas, is a leading state-of-the-art cardiac care facility that performs many diagnostic tests on-site to help you get the answers you need, including the stress test. To schedule an appointment with Waqar Khan, MD, MPH, FACC, FSCAI, Alexander Trujillo, MD, or Steven Napierkowski, MD, today, call the office or book an appointment online.

Stress Test Q & A

What is a stress test?

A stress test is a diagnostic tool that measures how well your heart works during exercise. Some heart conditions are easier to identify and diagnose when your heart is working harder.

During a stress test, your cardiovascular disease specialist at Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center has you walk on a treadmill and measures your heart rate, blood pressure, and electrical activity in your heart as you exercise. 

If you’re unable to exercise, your provider may use medication that makes your heart beat faster. 

Who needs a stress test?

You may need a stress test if you’re experiencing signs and symptoms of an underlying heart condition. These symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Irregular heartbeat

Your provider at Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center may be able to use the information gathered during your stress test to diagnose a cardiac condition such as congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease, or heart rhythm disorders.

The specialists also perform a stress test to assess heart function after a heart attack. 

What happens during a stress test?

Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center is a state-of-the-art cardiac facility, and your provider performs your stress test at the office. 

Your provider may request that you change your usual medication schedule prior to your stress test and avoid caffeine-containing foods and drinks the day of your test. You should wear comfortable clothing and shoes to the test.

Your provider places a blood pressure cuff on your arm and attaches electrodes to your chest, which are hooked up to an electrocardiogram (EKG) to measure electrical activity in your heart. They take baseline measurements before you begin exercising.

Your provider then has you walk on a treadmill at a slow pace and gradually increases the intensity of your workout until you reach a set target heart rate. The exercise portion of the stress test takes about 10 to 15 minutes. 

If you feel any pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath before you reach the target rate, let your provider know so they can stop the stress test.

During your stress test, Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center may also take images of your left ventricular function during exercise with nuclear imaging, MRI, or echocardiography.

What happens after a stress test?

After the stress test, your provider at Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center reviews the results of the test and offers recommendations if appropriate.

If a routine stress test can’t identify the underlying cause of your symptoms or your provider needs more information about your heart to confirm or rule out a diagnosis, you may need additional testing, such as echocardiography or a nuclear stress test. 

For compassionate and comprehensive cardiac care, contact Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center by phone or online today.