Stress Tests (Stress Echocardiogram)
Stress tests are tests performed by a doctor and/or trained technician to determine the amount of stress that your heart can manage before developing either an abnormal rhythm or evidence of ischemia (not enough blood flow to the heart muscle).
The most commonly performed stress test is the exercise stress test. The exercise stress test, also called a treadmill stress test, is a test used to provide information about how the heart responds to exertion. This is an echocardiogram that is performed while the person exercises on a treadmill. It involves walking on a treadmill at increasing levels of difficulty, while your heart rate and blood pressure are monitored.
This test can accurately visualize the motion of the heart’s walls and pumping action when the heart is stressed. It may reveal a lack of blood flow that isn’t always apparent on other heart tests. The echocardiogram is performed just prior and just after the exercise.