There are many types of stress tests. These include:
1. Treadmill stress test:
Patients walk on the treadmill, which is programmed to increase in speed and incline every 2 or 3 minutes. During this period, EKG and blood pressure are monitored. The results of the test do not only depend on the duration of the walk/run, but other parameters such as heart rate, changes in the EKG, and symptoms experienced.
2. Stress echocardiogram: In this case, the patient has an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) done before and after the treadmill test to evaluate the motion of the heart muscle.
3.Cardiolite: This is the type of stress test that relies on the radionuclide uptake by the heart at rest and at exertion. Patients are scanned with the gamma camera to detect this uptake with continuous EKG monitoring.
Patients do not eat or drink for 12 hours prior to any of the stress tests. It is also advisable to stop taking any beta blockers (medications whose name ends in "...olol").