Nuclear or Standard Stress Test
Stress tests are commonly used to evaluate heart function under stress (exercise) in order to provide information about how the heart responds to exertion.
A standard stress test usually involves walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike at increasing levels of difficulty, while your electrocardiogram, heart rate, and blood pressure are monitored. Vital signs of a resting heart and excercised heart are measured and compared in order to determine if there is an abnormal rythm.
Your physician can also use the stress test to:
- Determine if there is adequate blood flow to your heart while you exercise
- Evaluate the effectiveness of your heart medications
- Determine the likelihood of having coronary heart disease and the need for further evaluation
- Detect abnormal heart rhythms
- Assist you in developing a healthy exercise program
Nuclear Stress Test (Thallium Stress Test)
A nuclear stress test measures blood flow to your heart muscle at rest and during stress. It is performed similar to a routine exercise stress test but provides images in addition to electrocardiograms.
A radioactive substance is injected into your bloodstream that mixes with your blood and travels to your heart. A special scanner that detects the radioactive material in your heart creates images of your heart muscle. These images are taken both at rest and after exercise. Using this technique, a less than normal amount of thallium will be noticed in those areas of the heart that have a decreased blood supply.
Echo Stess Test
An echocardiogram (often called "echo") is a graphic outline of the heart's movement.This test is also commonly known as a Treadmill Stress Test and Exercise Stress Test. During the test, the heart is scanned with an ultrasound at a resting heart rate, and then again after strenous exercise. The test is designed to evaluate how much blood is pumped from the heart.
A stress echo can accurately visualize the motion of the heart's walls and pumping action when the heart is stressed; it may reveal a lack of blood flow that isn't always apparent on other heart tests.