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Heart & Vascular Institute
 



 
Stress Testing

Stress Testing

 

What is a treadmill stress test?

A treadmill stress test involves exercising on a treadmill while wearing EKG leads to find out how well your heart handles work.
 

Why is your doctor ordering a treadmill stress test?

Your doctor may order a treadmill stress to:

  • Diagnose heart disease.
  • Diagnose a related condition causing symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or lightheadedness.
  • Determine the effectiveness of medications.

What to expect

  • You will be connected to equipment to monitor your heart and  blood pressure.
  • You will start out walking slowly on the treadmill and the speed and hill will gradually be increased.
  • You will be asked if you are having symptoms.
 

What is a nuclear stress test?
A nuclear stress test involves exercising on a treadmill or with medicine for those who cannot exercise. This test uses radioactive tracer to take pictures and measure the blood flow to the heart at rest and while your heart is working harder as a result of exercise or medicine.

Why is your doctor ordering a nuclear stress test?

Your doctor may recommend this test to:

  • Diagnose coronary artery disease (blockages in the heart arteries).
  • Guide treatment for heart disorders.

What to expect

An IV will be placed in your arm.  You will lie on a narrow bed with your arms propped above your head and your chest under a camera for 2-3 sets of images (pictures) of your heart.  You will be monitored with an electrocardiogram (EKG) and a blood pressure cuff.

IF you are having a physical stress test, you will walk on a treadmill to increase your heart rate.

IF you are having a medicine (pharmacologic) stress test the medicine will be given through your IV. You may be asked to walk on the treadmill extremely slow and flat (no incline) for 4 minutes. This helps minimize some of the side effects which you may or may not feel.

Plan to be in the department for 2-3 hours. Your results will be available from your doctor within 24- 48 hours and uploaded on My LGHealth within several days.
 


What is a stress echo(cardiogram)?

A stress echo involves taking ultrasound images of your heart, before, and then again at peak stress. This test compares the ability of your heart to “squeeze” at rest and with stress. It can also assess the health of your heart valve(s).
 

Why is your doctor ordering a stress echo?

Your doctor may recommend this test to:

  • Diagnose coronary artery disease (blockages in the heart arteries).
  • Assess the function of one or more heart valves.
  • Guide treatment for heart disorders.

What to expect

  • You will be connected to equipment to monitor your heart and blood pressure.
  • You may have an IV placed in your arm if you are having a medicine (pharmacologic) stress test or if the echo technologist needs to use contrast to better see your heart.
  • You will have a resting ultrasound of the heart (echocardiogram) done before the stress test.
  • If you are having a physical stress test, you will walk on a treadmill to increase your heart rate.
  • If you are having a medicine stress test, the medicine will be given through you IV.
  • Another ultrasound of the heart will be performed at the peak of stress for comparison to the resting images.
Stress testing is available at Lancaster General Hospital, and LG Health Centers in Ephrata, Lebanon and Parkesburg.  To schedule an appointment call Centralized Scheduling at 717-544-5941 or toll-free 877-643-7518.


 
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