Exercise stress testing is used to diagnose coronary artery disease, rhythm problems or other heart conditions. It also may be used to test the effectiveness of a treatment prescribed by your doctor.
Some heart abnormalities are unmasked only when the heart has more work to do. For example, this may occur when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle are partially blocked by fatty deposits called plaque. When the person is at rest, the heart muscle may be
getting all the blood it needs. However, when the heart has to work harder and the pulse rate is higher (as during exercise), partially blocked coronary arteries can prevent extra blood from reaching the heart muscle. This causes recurrent chest pain called angina, which often shows up during exercise stress testing.
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