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Stress Testing

A stress test is a non-invasive test that helps the physician determine how your heart responds to stress.

Mian Jan, MD
Cardiology

Exercise Stress Test

Also called a treadmill test, stress test, exercise electrocardiogram, graded exercise test, this test provides information about how well your heart works during exercise or exertion. It usually involves walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike at increasing levels of difficulty while the heart rate, heart rhythm and blood pressure are monitored. The test may be ordered to determine if there is adequate blood flow to your heart during increasing levels of activity, the likelihood of heart disease being present, or the need for future testing.

Nuclear Stress Test

A nuclear stress test provides information about your heart's ability to deal with the increased need for blood and oxygen that occurs during exercise. The test can determine if there is adequate blood flow to the heart muscle during activity (treadmill exercise) versus rest. During the test, a small amount of a radioactive tracer is injected into a vein. A special camera, called a gamma camera, detects the radiation and produces images of the heart. Areas of your heart that do not absorb the tracer may not be getting enough blood. In these cases, further testing may be necessary. A stress test with nuclear imaging takes two to three hours. Be sure to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes and good walking shoes or sneakers for the exercise portion of the test.

Pharmacologic Stress Testing

If you are unable to exercise on a treadmill, you may have a non-exercise stress test. In this test, medication is administered through an intravenous catheter (IV). The medication creates changes in your heart similar to what happens when you exercise. A small amount of radioactive tracer is injected into a vein. A special camera, called a gamma camera, detects the radiation and produces images of the heart. Areas of your heart that do not absorb the tracer may not be getting enough blood. In these cases, further testing may be necessary. A stress test with nuclear imaging takes two to three hours.

LOCATION and CONTACT INFORMATION
The Chester County HospitalView Map
701 East Marshall Street, 2nd Floor
West Chester, PA 19380
Phone: 610.738.2771
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 am-4:30 pm

Last Updated: 10/11/2012