The CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Needham offers stress testing. During a stress test, you exercise to make your heart work hard and beat fast while tests are done. The tests can reveal abnormal changes to your heart rate or blood pressure, symptoms such as shortness of breath, or abnormal changes to your heart's electrical activity. 

Your doctor may prescribe a stress test for one of the following purposes

  • To diagnose coronary artery disease
  • To diagnose a possible heart-related cause of symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or lightheadedness
  • To determine a safe level of exercise
  • To check the effectiveness of procedures done to improve coronary artery circulation in patients with coronary artery disease
  • To predict risk of dangerous heart-related conditions such as a heart attack.

Depending on the results of the exercise stress test, the physician may recommend more tests such as a nuclear stress test or cardiac catheterization.

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