A cardiac stress test is a performed to evaluate the blood supply to the heart muscle, or myocardium, during physical exercise, compared to blood flow while at rest. The patient rides the cardiobike while connected to an electrocardiogram (ECG) machine, usually with the standard 10 connections used to record a 12-lead ECG. The level of exercise is increased in 3-minute stages, while the patient’s symptoms and blood pressure response are repeatedly checked. When there are problems with the arteries supplying the heart, this shows up with specific changes on the stress ECG.
The American Heart Association recommends ECG stress testing as the first choice for patients with medium risk of coronary heart disease based on the risk factors of smoking, family history of coronary stenosis, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Early identification of compromised coronary blood flow allows patients to get treated before a life-threatening cardiac event occurs.
FirstMed is now pleased to offer on-site cardiac stress testing provided by our cardiologist, Dr. Judy Seidner. This test is usually requested by one of our physicians and is used to identify patients at risk of heart disease. It is also available on request as part of our executive health maintenance program.