What Do Stress Tests Really Reveal? Tampa Cardio Answers the Question
Posted by: Tampa Cardio
On: September 7, 2021
If you or your doctor suspect issues with your cardiovascular system you may be asked to take a stress test.
A stress test is a series of measurements taken during exercise. It is designed to cause your heart to work and pump harder than at rest in a controlled environment. It is focused on finding issues with your heart function.
A normal result means that blood can flow easily and normally through all veins and arteries. The results are specific for your age group and other factors.
There is a common misconception that a stress test is done to identify blockages. What it does is looks at the blood flow to the heart muscle and determines if it is adequate.
Failing a stress test doesn’t mean your heart is bad. It means often that you aren’t in good enough physical shape to get the cardiovascular system pumping hard enough to measure accurately. An abnormal reading is key in diagnosis. If you experience pain or shortness of breath during the test it indicates an elevated risk of CAD (coronary artery disease). When combined with being overweight, up there in age, and having high cholesterol, it can be a recipe for problems.
If you have already been diagnosed with heart disease and a stress test is called for you may be directed to undergo a nuclear stress test instead of the physical exercise.
A nuclear stress test is a diagnostic tool used to find the cause of chest pain, discovering risk for heart disease, and evaluating how well treatment is progressing following a heart attack. Most of the stress tests are done in the office.
A regular stress test shows the electrocardiogram reading, heartrate and blood pressure while you are walking. A nuclear stress test shows pictures of the blood flow to the heart in addition to the EKG, heartrate and blood pressure.
To be able to take pictures of your heart, you will receive an injection of a radioactive tracer fluid that is administered through an IV. The tracer allows the camera to take pictures of the blood flow. There are no side effects from the tracer. It is not the same as contrast dye. There is no iodine and will not harm your kidneys. Nuclear stress testing, is safe and can help your cardiologist make an accurate diagnosis.
Need a stress test?
Contact Tampa Cardiovascular Associates at 813-975-2800 or visit www.tampacardio.com to learn more.
Posted by: Tampa Cardio