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Stress Testing Specialist

Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates

Electrophysiology & Cardiology located in Phoenix, Avondale, Tempe, Chandler, Suncity, Dewey & Prescott Valley, AZ

Of all the tests you may need to diagnose heart problems, a stress test is the only one that shows how well your heart works while exercising. Akash Makkar, MD, and Mohamad Abdelrahman, MD, at Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates perform stress tests to identify many heart conditions and plan your treatment. To schedule your stress testing, use the online booking tool or call one of the offices in Phoenix, Avondale, Tempe, Chandler, Sun City, Dewey, or Prescott Valley, Arizona, today.

Stress Testing Q & A

What is stress testing?

Stress testing is a procedure to determine how well your heart works when you engage in physical activity. Physical stress forces your heart to work harder and pump more blood out to your body. Stress testing allows Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates to diagnose a variety of heart conditions.

When might I need stress testing?

Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates performs stress testing to identify the cause of heart-related symptoms like rapid heartbeat, chest pain, and shortness of breath.

You may need a stress test to diagnose:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Heart valve problems
  • Heart failure
  • Problems with blood flow in your heart

If you’re already on a treatment regimen for your heart, a stress test can help evaluate the effectiveness of your treatment.

What happens during exercise stress testing?

Before starting stress testing, your provider places electrodes on your chest, legs, and arms, then connects them to an electrocardiogram (EKG) machine. The EKG records your heart’s electrical activity throughout your test.

They place a blood pressure cuff on your arm so they can keep track of your blood pressure during the test. You’re also constantly monitored so you have immediate help in the event you develop any symptoms.

During the stress test, you walk on a treadmill or pedal a stationary bike. You start out slowly and then the exercise gradually intensifies to make your heart work harder.

Your stress test continues until your heart rate reaches a specific target or you develop symptoms such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Abnormal blood pressure
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

Your provider stops the stress test if these symptoms appear.

What if I can not tolerate an exercise stress test?

Some patients can’t participate in an exercise stress test, often due to problems such as chronic back pain, arthritis, or a previous stroke. You can still have stress testing using an injection of substances that chemically boost your heart rate.

What is stress echocardiography?

Stress echocardiography is just like an exercise stress test except that you have an echocardiogram before and after you exercise. 

An echocardiogram uses an ultrasound to create an image of your heart. Echocardiograms reveal details such as the size and shape of your heart, muscle thickness, heart valves, and coronary blood vessels.

If you have questions about stress testing or need to schedule a stress test, call Arizona Heart Arrhythmia Associates or book online today.