A Cardiac Stress Test is an common study used to diagnose a coronary artery disease. It allows the physician to see how your heart works during exercise. It is also known as Cardiopulmonary Exercise Test, Cardiac Diagnostic Test or CPX.
How it works?
During the test, the doctor will put small metal discs called electrodes, these electrodes are connected to wires connected at the same time to a machine with a screen that register all electrical activity of your heart.
Looking at the screen, doctors may register the heartbeats while the patient exercise.
Those very ill patients that may not be able to do exercise receive medication that simulate the effects of physical exercise in the organism.
What should I expect?
First, you should not eat or drink 4 hours previous to the test, avoiding all food containing caffeine. Also, talk to the doctor about the medication you are taking and ask if you must suspend it before the test.
A healthy person’s electrocardiogram shows a particular drawn and the changes on the path allow the doctors to determine if there is a problem with the heart.
Before taking the test, doctors will register the blood pressure and your pulse.
They will take notes of the electrical activity of your heart before you start doing exercise.
Your cardiology specialist will try to detect changes in the path of your electrocardiogram and your blood pressure levels, which may indicate if your heart is not receiving enough oxygen. Some other symptoms of a coronary artery disease may include chest pain, and breathing troubles while exercising.
At the end of the test, your doctor will indicate a relaxing stage in which you will be asked to lay down or sit and relax. After the test you may eat, drink and get back to normal activities.