Stress Test Procedure and Definition

A diagnostic procedure to evaluate the cardiovascular system’s ability to meet the body’s increased oxygen needs during physical exercise. The most common procedure is the exercise stress test, in which the person walks on a treadmill or rides a stationary bicycle at an escalating pace.

A continuous electrocardiogram (ecg) monitors the heart’s response. variations of the stress test include the echocardiogram stress test, in which the cardiologist uses ultrasound to visualize the heart’s functions during exercise, and the pharmacological stress test, in which the cardiologist administers a drug such as dipyridamole that causes a cardiovascular response that simulates the effects of exercise.

A stress test helps determine the extent of cardiovascular impairment present as a result of conditions such as coronary artery disease (cad) and heart failure.

A stress test does not require preparation or recovery, and takes 20 to 40 minutes to complete.

There is a very slight risk that a stress test may trigger a heart attack, to which the facility and its staff are prepared to respond if necessary.

See also HEART; MYOCARDIAL PERFUSION IMAGINGOXYGEN-CARBON DIOXIDE EXCHANGE.

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