Importance of Cardiac Stress Test

HBI Blog / Importance of Cardiac Stress Test

In 2001 alone, there were more than 7 million deaths due to Coronary Heart Disease worldwide. If you have a family history of heart disease, don’t ignore the early symptoms. The cardiac stress test is a simple yet lifesaving test. It can help predicta heart attack and can keep people alert about their heart condition.

Cardiac Stress Test – What Is It?

This test helps a doctor evaluate the amount of arterial blood flow while a person is physically active. Next, the same flow is measured while a person is at rest. The myocardium or the heart muscle receives oxygen indirectly due to this flow. The stress test is also a mode to determine the overall fitness level of a person.

Cardiac Stress Test

How Does the Test Work?

The basic principle of this test is to look for abnormalities between the blood flow while a person is active and while he is at rest. Any imbalance in the flow of blood in the left ventricle leads to a positive result or abnormality. A second test is carried out in most cases to ensure that the previous positive relative amount is correct.

What Are the Limitations?

There are certain limitations to the cardiac stress test. The two main drawbacks are –

  • This test is unable to pick up any irregularities in blood flow in the other three heart chambers, apart from the left ventricle. Therefore, if the results of a cardiopulmonary exercise test are not positive, the doctor might suggest other tests for accurate results.
  • A cardiac stress test can produce positive results only in the case of 75% or more heart blockage. However, this amount of blockage does not ensure the possibility of a heart attack. Instead, it points towards advanced artery diseases.

Modern medicine has witnessed a steady improvement over the past few years. Though cardiac diagnostic test accurately inclines towards a heart attack, it gives a clear picture of the arteries. It also acts as a gateway to other tests that can lead a doctor towards conclusive results.

The best advice is to consult a physician at regular intervals and take stress tests as advised to minimize the chances of a heart attack.

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