A cardiac stress test or exercise electrocardiogram (EKG) is a test that measures the electrical activity of your heart during stress and exercise. This test is also known as a "treadmill test." Sometimes EKG abnormalities can be seen only during exercise or while symptoms are present, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, abnormal rhythms and palpitations.

During this test, you may either walk on a motor-driven treadmill or pedal a stationary bicycle, and your heart's electrical activity is translated into line tracings on paper and compared to your resting EKG. The test will measure the rate and regularity of heartbeats, the presence of any damage to the heart and the effects of drugs or devices used to regulate the heart (such as a pacemaker). EKG results can also help your doctor diagnose coronary artery disease and determine what level of exercise will be most appropriate for you.

Nuclear Cardiology Studies

The most common nuclear cardiology study is a cardiac perfusion scan. This scan measures the amount of blood in your heart muscle at rest and during exercise. It is often done to find out what may be causing chest pain, and it is performed after a heart attack to see if areas of the heart are not getting enough blood or how much heart muscle has been damaged.

To learn more about the Heart and Vascular Institute and stress tests, please call 443-643-3729.