Here’s what an EKG and stress test can tell you about the health of your heart.
If you’re dealing with sudden shortness of breath, chest pain or an irregular or rapid heartbeat then our Rockville, MD, cardiologist Dr. Leith Abdulla may recommend additional testing in order to find out what’s going on and whether you could be suffering from heart disease. If you have a family history of heart disease, it’s particularly important that you visit your Rockville, MD, cardiologist Dr. Leith Abdulla, who may recommend getting an EKG and stress test.
What is an EKG?
EKG, which stands for electrocardiogram, is a diagnostic test that can be used to detect,
- Abnormalities or defects within the heart
- Heart rate and rhythm
- Signs of a heart attack (whether current or a previous heart attack)
This test is quick, painless and completely non-invasive. In order to perform an EKG our Rockville, MD, heart doctor will apply electrodes to the chest, which are connected to wires that are hooked up to a monitor. This computer monitor allows our cardiologist to examine the electrical signals within the heart to look for heart disease and other issues. The test only takes about 5-10 minutes.
What is a stress test?
A stress test or exercise stress test takes a bit longer than a standard EKG (anywhere from 30-60 minutes). An EKG is still being performed during a stress test, but it will run for the entire length of this diagnostic procedure. During a stress test the patient is instructed to walk at varying speeds on a treadmill.
If a patient is unable to walk on a treadmill then a chemical stress test is performed, in which medication is administered through an IV to mimic the stress placed on the heart during exercise.
An exercise stress test detects,
- Blood flow throughout the heart (to pinpoint reduced blood flow or blockages)
- To detect coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Heart rhythm and rate, as well as blood pressure
- To measure and analyze your level of fitness, as compared to your age group
Should I get an EKG or stress test?
These tests can be vitally important to those experiencing heart problems. If you are dealing with chest pain, shortness of breath or changes in heart rate or rhythm then you may want to talk with our Rockville, MD, cardiologist about getting an EKG and stress test. The sooner we can detect heart disease, blockages and other serious problems the sooner we can find treatment options to help you feel better and manage symptoms effectively.
If you are dealing with changes in heart rhythm or other symptoms that you think our Olney and Rockville, MD, cardiologist should investigate through an EKG and stress test then call our office today at (301) 774-5260 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Leith Abdulla.