There are many factors to consider when it comes to the heart and how it functions. Stress tests are often performed to determine how well your heart works under certain types of physical or induced activities.
Physical activity and exercise causes the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body and a stress test can show Dr. Khoo how well your heart is working during these times of exertion. We may order a stress test to see if a patient has active heart disease, particularly if they have experienced chest pain, discomfort, palpitations, shortness of breath or unusual heart beats (arrhythmias).
A “stress test”, also called a treadmill stress test is used to determine the functioning of the heart and its ability to withstand stress during exercise or physical activity. It usually involves walking on a treadmill, while your electrocardiogram, heart rate and blood pressure are monitored.
Dr. Khoo may also recommend an exercise stress test to:
- Evaluate the extent of coronary artery disease
- Diagnose the causes of chest pain or discomfort
- Assess previous heart procedure such as angioplasty or bypass surgery
- Identify previous cardiac events (i.e. heart attack)
- Identify abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia)
- Identify other cardiac problems, such as heart valve diseases
Stress Echocardiography, or stress echo, is diagnostic test that helps Dr. Khoo determine how well your heart pumps when made to beat harder. Just like with a standard echocardiogram test, harmless sound waves are bounced off your heart. These waves are converted to images that show the structure, function and movement of your heart before and immediately after physical exertion or exercise. By comparing the images taken before and after the physical activity, Dr. Khoo can see any changes in the way the heart muscle functions under the stress of exercise.
How Does Stress Echo Work
During a stress echo, a small device that produces sound waves, called a transducer, is placed on your chest both before and immediately after you exercise. The sound waves bounce off your heart and are changed into images on a computer monitor. Dr. Khoo then compares the two images to detect any changes in the way your heart responds when you exert yourself.
Stress Test with Pharmacologic Intervention
When exercise is not an option, due to a physical or medical condition, Dr. Khoo may order a different type of stress test called a myocardial perfusion scan with pharmacologic intervention. In this type of procedure, the patient is given medicine that makes the arteries of the heart widen (dilate) which increases blood flow. This induced response of the arteries is similar to what a patient experiences during physical exercise.
We encourage you to ask as many questions as necessary until you are confident that you understand your heart condition, medications or procedures you may be considering.
In her practice as a top heart doctor in Albuquerque, Dr. Michelle Khoo wants you to be informed, comfortable and confident about your treatment plan.
Quality Healthcare is at the Heart of Everything We Do.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Khoo call 1-505-248-1802 or click here to request an appointment online.
Khoo & Associates Cardiology and Wellness is a boutique Cardiovascular Health & Wellness practice that is focused on delivering outstanding, comprehensive and ethical cardiovascular care to patients in Albuquerque and the surrounding counties of Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance and Valencia in New Mexico.
Our experienced and dedicated team offers our patients the combined collective experience and knowledge necessary to ensure the highest level of patient care in two convenient office locations – Downtown Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.