Must-Know Facts on Stress Tests

Must-Know Facts on Stress Tests

Must-Know Facts on Stress Tests

Not all stress testing yields the same high-quality findings. Nuclear stress testing with a heart PET scan is the benchmark for accurately diagnosing coronary artery disease. If you have further concerns, contact the Tomball stress testing experts at Northwest Houston Heart Center. Call your nearest office within Texas, or use the online booking option to make an appointment soon.

When Should I Consider Stress Testing?

A stress test is a diagnostic process that examines how your heart works when made to work harder than usual. Northwest Houston Heart Center conducts stress testing to diagnose the source of symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and palpitations. Stress testing can aid in the diagnosis of:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart valve disease
  • Heart failure
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Heart arrhythmias

Your doctor may also urge you to take a stress test to see how effective your current treatment is or to see whether you’re ready to start exercising again after a heart attack.

Northwest Houston Heart Center is one of just a few centers in the Houston area with a dedicated cardiac PET scanner (positron emission tomography). These scans are among the most modern and accurate diagnostic methods for coronary artery disease, surpassing standard nuclear stress testing.

Northwest Houston Heart Center was the third facility in the Houston Metro area to offer cardiac PET scans, and it has been doing so for more than ten years. Dr. Aslam is a member of the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology, and the PET Scan facility at Northwest Houston Heart Center is an Intersocietal Accreditation Commission-accredited facility.

What Happens During Stress Testing?

You pace on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike to raise your heart rate during an exercise stress test. Your physician will place electrodes on your chest and link them to an EKG machine before the test so that they may examine your heart’s electrical activity.


You begin slowly, and your provider gradually increases the intensity at regular intervals. The test continues until your provider determines a peak heart rate or you get symptoms and need to stop.

You can still take a stress test if you are unable to exercise. Your doctor may prescribe medications to raise your heart rate instead of exercise.

What Is Nuclear Stress Testing?

A nuclear stress test is a special treatment that combines your stress test with a heart PET (positron emission tomography) scan. You get two scans, one just after your stress test to get an image of your heart when it’s working hard, and the other right after your stress test to get an image of your heart when it’s not working hard.

What Is a Cardiac PET Scan?

Your provider injects a radioactive material called a radiotracer into your veins during a cardiac PET scan (tracer). These tracers bind to blood cells and make their way to your heart. This PET scan is a type of sophisticated imaging that uses the energy emitted by the tracers to create an image of your heart.

Call Northwest Houston Heart Center or schedule an appointment online today if you have questions regarding stress testing.

George Abbot

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