A stress test, also called an exercise stress test, shows how your heart works during physical activity. Because exercise makes your heart pump harder and faster, an exercise stress test can reveal problems with blood flow within your heart.
A stress test usually involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike while your heart rhythm, blood pressure and breathing are monitored. Or you’ll receive a drug that mimics the effects of exercise.
Your doctor may recommend a stress test if you have signs or symptoms of coronary artery disease or an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia).
A stress test can help:
• Guide treatment decisions
• Determine how well heart treatment is working
• Diagnose the severity of an existing heart condition