Testing the heart under controlled stress, such as while walking, helps evaluate coronary artery disease and other cardiac conditions.
Our heart specialists conduct thousands of stress tests each year to support diagnostic and treatment decision-making. The Pilla Heart Center at Abington Health’s Heart & Vascular Institute has advanced technology for the latest test capabilities.
Types of Stress Tests
Exercise stress tests are conducted while walking on a treadmill. The exercise stress load is increased gradually to reach a target heart rate. Echocardiograms, or heart ultrasounds, are performed before and after the test.
Non-exercise stress tests are given to patients who are unable to exercise. They receive medications to stimulate heart rate.
We conduct nuclear stress tests using nuclear imaging agents, such as dobutamine, as well as non-nuclear exams.
Stress Test Findings
Changes in heart wall motion during stress tests can suggest blood flow problems. Blood pressure is also measured. Abnormal stress test findings usually will be followed by other tests.