What is a Stress Test?
Stress Tests are performed to determine the amount of stress that the heart can manage before developing an abnormal rhythm or evidence that the heart muscle is not receiving enough blood flow.
How are Stress Tests Performed?
During a stress test, a patient exercises on a treadmill with progressive increases in speed and elevation at set time intervals. During the exercise, the electrical activity of the patient's heart, as well as heart rate, heart rhythm and blood pressure are monitored through leads placed on the patient's extremities and chest. In patients who cannot exercise, an alternate form of the stress test is performed through the administration of a drug which makes the heart react as if the patient were exercising.