Pharmacological Stress Tests
By Cardiovascular Institute, P.A.
December 04, 2019
Tags: Stress Tests  

Are you unable to undergo a traditional stress test because you can't tolerate exercising on a treadmill or stationary bike? Pharmacologic cheststress tests, offered by your Tomball, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Daljit Muttiana of Cardiovascular Institute, P.A., offer another way to gather information about your heart function.

What is a pharmacologic stress test?

Stress tests evaluate how your heart reacts to physical stress. The test measures your heart rate, blood pressure, and your heart's electrical activity. A stress test is usually conducted while you run on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike, but exercise isn't the only way to stress the heart.

A pharmacologic stress test uses medication instead of exercise to increase your heart rate and make your heart work harder. The test may be recommended if:

  • You have severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or another breathing issue.
  • You can't exercise due to an injury, blood clots, arthritis, or another condition that makes it hard to stand, run or put pressure on your feet or legs.
  • You have low blood pressure or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
  • Your test results may not be accurate due to an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).
  • You have a stent or had bypass surgery.


What conditions can be diagnosed with the test?

Your Tomball cardiologist may use the pharmacologic stress test to:

  • Determine how well heart medications or treatments are working
  • Find out if a heart problem is the reason you have chest pains, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, or weakness
  • Make sure that your heart is healthy if you'll be having surgery for a non-heart issue
  • Evaluate your heart condition


What happens during a pharmacologic stress test?

An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted into your arm and electrodes will be placed on your chest, arms and legs before your test begins. The electrodes will transmit information about your heart's electrical activity to a monitor during the test. You'll be given a medication through your IV that raises your heart rate and makes your heart pump harder.

As the drug affects your heart, your cardiologist will not only evaluate your electrical activity, but also closely monitor your blood pressure and heart rate. In some cases, stress tests may be performed in conjunction with imaging tests that offer additional information about your heart.

Pharmacologic stress tests can help your heart doctor determine if you have a problem with your heart. Contact your Tomball, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Daljit Muttiana of Cardiovascular Institute, at (281) 357-5700 to schedule your appointment.