Exercise and non-exercise stress tests compare the patient’s heart functioning at rest and under controlled stress (such as walking). These exams are used by Pilla Heart Center specialists to evaluate conditions such as coronary artery disease.
In exercise stress tests, echocardiograms are performed before and after a patient reaches the appropriate target heart rate while walking on a treadmill. The exercise stress load is increased gradually. For non-exercise stress tests, patients who are unable to exercise receive medications to stimulate heart rate.
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.
The Pilla Heart Center offers nuclear stress tests using nuclear imaging agents, such as dobutamine, as well as non-nuclear exams. Our facility conducts about 3,000 nuclear and non-nuclear stress tests each year.
For expertise on stress tests, contact the specialists at Abington’s Pilla Heart Center, including the Porter Institute for Valvular Heart Disease, Heart Rhythm Center, and Comprehensive Heart Failure Program.