Stress Test Specialist

Donald Cedric Wallerson, MD

Cardiologist located in Bronx, NY

Stress testing plays an important role in diagnosing heart-related problems as well as ensuring ongoing treatment remains optimized for each patient. Cardiologist Dr. Donald Wallerson offers advanced stress testing at his practice in The Bronx, NY, so patients can receive the most appropriate care based on their unique needs.

Stress Test Q & A

What is cardiac stress testing?

Cardiac stress testing is an evaluation designed to assess the function of the heart when it’s under physical stress - specifically, how it responds to strenuous exercise.

When are stress tests used?

Stress testing can be used to:

  • determine if a person is ready for increased physical activity or surgery
  • to evaluate how much blood is reaching the heart during activity
  • to assess the heart’s valves, arrhythmia, murmurs or other heartbeat-related issues
  • to manage ongoing treatment for cardiovascular issues
  • to help determine the cause of chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting or other symptoms that could be related to heart activity and function
  • to assess a person’s risk of developing coronary artery disease

How is stress testing performed?

Stress testing is performed in the office or in a hospital. Prior to the test, electrocardiogram leads will be attached to the patient so the heart’s electrical activity can be monitored throughout the exam. During the test, the patient will be asked to walk on a treadmill for a specific period of time while the speed of the treadmill is gradually increased until the heart reaches a target rate. The electrocardiogram will record the heart’s electrical activity and create a graph that can be used to evaluate the heart. Patients may be asked to limit their food and caffeine intake for a few hours before the test, and it’s also important to ask about whether to take medications prior to the test or to wait until the test is over.

Is stress testing safe?

Yes, patients are monitored throughout the test and the doctor or technician performing the test remains in the same room as the patient.

What is an echo stress test?

An echo stress test uses an ultrasound to evaluate the heart before and immediately after activity. The ultrasound can provide detailed images of the heart’s structures as well as the flow of blood around the heart to aid in diagnosis or treatment of disease.

What if I’m not healthy enough for exercise?

In that case, carefully-controlled medications can be supplied via an IV to simulate the effects of exercise on the heart.