Has Your Doctor Suggested a Chemical Stress Test?

Posted by: Tampa Cardio

On: March 9, 2020

Chemical stress test tampa florida tampa cardio

If you have physical limitations such as joint issues, arthritis, unsteady mobility, a previous stroke or back pain, you may be unable to undergo a normal manual treadmill stress test in order to determine heart health and capacity to endure stress.

While treadmill stress tests are the normal industry standard there is an alternative for those who simply cannot endure the test. If a patient isn’t in proper health for a treadmill stress test, the alternative is to perform a chemical stress test.

What exactly is a chemical stress test?

A chemical stress test is exactly what the name portrays. A medication is given via intravenous injection and combined with an imaging technique (isotope imaging or echocardiography) to complete the evaluation. The chemical is able to take the place of cardiovascular exercise to increase the hearts’ workload and cause the coronary arteries to dilate. Any blocked arteries will show a reduction in blood flow compared to normal arteries.

An echocardiogram can show reduced blood flow near an affected wall. It may also show up less bright on a nuclear scan. Commonly used medications in pharmacologic stress testing include Regadenoson(Lexiscan) and dobutamine.

Chemical Stress Tests – Are there any Side Effects?

If side effects appear, they are usually minor:

  • Flushed feeling
    Irregular heartbeats
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Nausea


Chemical stress tests are able to accurately diagnose coronary heart disease in approximately 90% of the patients tested. There are variables that make it less reliable including excess weight, large breasts in women, and patients who have a left bundle branch block on their EKG may also have a false abnormal test.

Further testing may be required. Results usually come back within a day or two.

The best recommendation is to proactively take care of your health. Contact the Tampa Cardiovascular Associates for an appointment and recommendations (813) 975-2800. WWW.TAMPACARDIO.COM

Posted by: Tampa Cardio

On: 09/03/2020

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