Exercise Stress Test

Cardiology & Invasive Cardiologist located in Houston, TX
misc image

Exercise Stress Test services offered in Houston, TX

An exercise stress test can identify heart ailments long before they become life-threatening. Cardiologist Humayun Naqvi, MD, MBA, may recommend stress testing as part of a comprehensive cardiac evaluation at West Houston Heart Center in Houston, Texas. Based on the study results, Dr. Naqvi can develop a customized plan that prevents heart disease from threatening your overall quality of life. Schedule a visit today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.

Exercise Stress Test Q & A

Why would I need an exercise stress test?

An exercise stress test evaluates the heart’s ability to function at peak capacity. This is important because your heart tends to act differently at rest than when you’re exercising, and many serious conditions are only apparent when you ask it to work harder.

You may benefit from a stress test if you’re starting a new exercise program, struggling with decreased exercise tolerance, or if Dr. Naqvi suspects narrowing of your carotid arteries. An exercise stress test can reveal an arrhythmia that only occurs with physical activity or heart valve problems not previously diagnosed.

Dr. Naqvi may also recommend stress testing to evaluate how well your heart is recovering following a heart attack or to gauge whether your current treatment plan is effective. It may also be helpful to undergo an exercise stress test as a baseline if you’re interested in developing a heart-healthy life strategy or have a concerning family history of early cardiac disease.

What happens during an exercise stress test?

An exercise stress test is an outpatient study that may take a couple of hours to complete, based on the type of test you’re undergoing. Dr. Naqvi discusses the procedure thoroughly before scheduling the test.

For a traditional exercise stress test, you’ll likely exercise on a treadmill (sometimes a stationary bike) until your heart rate reaches a targeted goal that Dr. Naqvi calculates before you begin. Blood pressure monitoring and continuous EKG monitoring of your heart rate and rhythm during the test provide the data Dr. Naqvi reviews to gauge your heart function under stress.

Some people cannot reach their targeted heart rate or find it difficult to exercise because of physical deconditioning or disability. In that case, Dr. Naqvi may prescribe medication during the study that increases your heart rate and mimics the effects of exercise.

What types of exercise stress tests are available?

Some stress tests use advanced technology to capture pictures of your heart at rest and with exercise. For instance, nuclear stress testing records highly detailed, 3D images of your heart in motion as blood flows through your coronary arteries, heart chambers, and valves. This test arguably provides a more accurate assessment of heart function than a traditional exercise stress test.

Schedule a visit at West Houston Heart Center today. Call the office or request an appointment online.