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Stress Tests

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David J. Utlak, MD
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Stress Testing


* Why was this test ordered?
Your doctor asked you to have a  stress test at Ohio Heart Care to determine whether exercise causes decreased blood flow to your heart muscle. If so, we can determine whether your blood flow improves with rest. This is termed "reversible ischemia." This ischemia can also produce disturbances in your heart rhythm which may not be seen at rest.

* How do I prepare for the test?
      PATIENT INSTRUCTIONS: (same for both tests)
      No dairy products milk, cream, butter, ice cream, etc., after midnight the day before the test.
      No caffeine or de-caffeinated products coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, etc., for at least 12 hours, preferably 24
       Wear comfortable shoes and clothing to enable you to exercise or move freely.
       Do not apply body lotion or powder to the chest area.
       You should take your medication unless specifically instructed not to take a certain medication
       If you are Diabetic, you may eat a light breakfast  - water, juice, toast & jelly (no butter/dairy)

* What happens during the test?
When you arrive at Ohio Heart Care, you will be asked to undress down to the waist.

An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted into your hand.

The radioisotope will be injected. (It is not a dye. If you are pregnant or may be pregnant you must tell the nurse)


You will wait at least 20 minutes

You will then have a scan which will take about 11 minutes.

For this test, you will lie down with your arms above your head (this position allows for better viewing of your heart.)


After the scan the nurse will prepare you for the stress part of the test.


Electrocardiogram (EKG) wires will then be hooked up to your chest.

You will be asked to walk* on a treadmill until you experience symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath, or until you are too tired to continue walking.

A doctor and a technician will be present throughout the entire test and will be monitoring your blood pressure and EKG continuously.

Approximately one minute before you stop walking on the treadmill, you need to let the technician know so that the radioisotope can be injected, which is "taken up" by the heart. It flows more easily through non-diseased arteries. The radioisotope enables blood flow to be seen on a camera. You will be lying on a table with a scanner overhead that will take pictures of your heart.

*If you are unable to walk on the treadmill, one of two different drugs may be used to exercise your heart. These are Dobutamine or Adenosine. In this case, the test is the same, except that the drugs are injected over a specific period of time, and you are not required to walk on the treadmill.


Then a second scan takes place approximately 20 minutes to an hour after the stress.

You will then have another scan which will take about 11 minutes.

For this test, again you will lie down with your arms above your head just like the first scan.

Then you are done and ready to leave.

* How long will the testing last?
Plan to be at Ohio Heart Care for 4 hours.

* Is there a wait after the test before I can leave?
There is no real recovery period. You will be free to leave when the test is finished.


6. What happens after the test?
You will have an appointment to speak to your doctor to discuss the results.

* Does insurance cover this test?
Depending on the type of coverage, most commercial insurance carriers will pay the major share of the cost. You should always consult your insurance company to determine proper coverage.

* Who should I contact with questions about this test?
Call our triage nurse 330-492-2102 and press 3 when the Automated Attendant starts talking