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My doctor says I need a stress test. What is that?
A stress test is performed to look for a reduction in blood supply (perfusion) to the muscle of the heart, (myocardial ischemia). It assists in determining the location and extent of the decreased perfusion.
How is it done?
There are several ways this can be done; it is not a one size fits all test. Remember that each patient is an individual. As so, the manner in which the test is ordered by the doctor and how it is performed can be different for each patient. The different types of stress tests are:
© Exercise Treadmill Test (ETT)
♦ This test stimulates the heart, by using a treadmill to achieve your maximum exercise capacity. This is a very simple way to evaluate the functional status of your heart in order to detect the possible presence of coronary artery disease, and to help detect future events related to such diseases. This will facilitate your treatment and more accurately determine your prognosis. To learn more about this test, (Place a link to a detailed explanation here.)
© Exercise Nuclear Stress Test (EST)
♦ This test is very similar to the Exercise Treadmill Test, as you will be walking on the treadmill to stimulate your heart and achieve your maximum exercise capacity. It had the added feature of using a small amount of radioactive isotope (Myoview) which allows us to acquire images of the heart in order to detect myocardial ischemia. Imaging the heart also assists in determining how well the large chamber of the heart (Left Ventricle) is working to send blood out to all parts of the body (Ejection Fraction). To learn more about this test, (Place a link to a detailed explanation here.)
© Pharmacologic Nuclear Stress Test - Persantine Nuclear Stress Test (PST)
♦ This test is very similar to the Exercise Nuclear Stress Test (EST) as it includes the use of a small amount of radioisotope (Myoview) which allows us to acquire images of the heart in order to detect myocardial ischemia. Imaging the heart also assists in determining how well the large chamber of the heart (Left Ventricle) is working to send blood out to all parts of the body (Ejection Fraction). PST is sometimes used instead of EST because not everyone is a candidate for walking on the treadmill. We can use Persantine in place of the treadmill to simulate stress. Using a chemical to imitate physical activity is equivalent to exercising for those patients who cannot walk safely on the treadmill. (Place a link to a detailed explanation here.)
© Pharmacologic Nuclear Stress Test - Lexiscan Nuclear Stress Test (LST)
♦ This test is the same as the Persantine Nuclear Stress Test (PST), except, Lexiscan is use to simulate stress instead of Persantine. It is also equivalent to exercising for those patients who cannot walk safely on the treadmill. (Place a link to a detailed explanation here.)
Preparing for ETT
There is no real prep for this study. You may eat and drink as normal. We do ask
that you drink more fluids, such as water, juice and milk. These are the “good for
you drinks” that will help you be well hydrated for your test.
Preparing for EST
The following information is given to assure the best quality exam possible. Properly completing the prep for your study is very important to the quality and diagnosis of your Exercise Nuclear Stress Test.
© THE DAY BEFORE THE TEST:
♦ DO NOT eat or drink anything with caffeine, all day. This includes coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, “decaf” products, or medications containing caffeine (Excedrin/Anacin).
♦ DO drink plenty of water, juice and milk. This will keep you well hydrated for the test.
© AFTER MIDNIGHT:
♦ DO NOThave anything to eat or drink. This includes water, gum, mints/candy and chewable tobacco.
♦ Take your morning medications as directed by the Doctor who ordered your stress test, unless instructed not to do so. If you take medication before the test, please do so as early as possible and with only a small amount of water.
♦ DO NOTuse any body lotion or powders.
♦ IF YOU ARE A DIABETIC you may have a light breakfast at least 3 hours prior to your appointment time. You will be responsible for monitoring/medicating your blood sugar levels, so please bring your glucometer and a healthy snack.
© WHEN YOU ARRIVE:
♦ DO BRING you doctor’s order, a list of medications which you currently take, and the completed information packet.
♦ DOdress for comfort and safety.
♦ DO WEAR
A short sleeved, button down shirt/blouse or T-shirt
Slacks, jeans or shorts
Rubber soled walking shoes, sneakers or jogging shoes
♦ DO NOT WEAR
One piece outfits or dresses/skirts
Open or backless shoes, including clogs, crocs, sandals, or flip flops
© FAILURE to properly prepare may require your test to be rescheduled.
© THIS TEST TAKES 3-5 HOURS
During the last part of the test, you will be allowed to have a snack and take your medications. Please feel free to bring a healthy drink and snack with you.
© AS ALWAYS if you have any questions or concerns; or if you are going to be late, please call us! (302)734-1414