This test is noninvasive, generally safe and may be performed with a simple treadmill exercise, echocardiography, or nuclear imaging techniques. Another type of stress test uses drugs instead of physical activity to produce the effects of exercise during the examination.

A Beverly Hills heart doctor may recommend an exercise stress test for a number of reasons:

  • To diagnose conditions such as coronary artery disease (a chronic disease in which there is a “hardening” or atherosclerosis of the arteries) in patients with chest pain.
  • To diagnose a heart-related cause of symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or lightheadedness.
  • To determine a safe level of exercise among heart patients who wish to increase their level of physical activity.
  • To screen for coronary artery disease in some patients who do not have symptoms.
  • To evaluate the effectiveness of a balloon angioplasty (a procedure in which plaque in the arteries is pushed back against the artery walls to make more room for blood flow), or other procedures.
  • To predict future risk of dangerous heart-related conditions, such as heart attack.