Cardiac stress testing, also called exercise testing, can be useful in identifying partial blockages in your coronary arteries. Many times, the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD) are easily missed when a person is at rest, because at rest there may be no sign of a problem either on physical examination or on the ECG. In these cases, cardiac abnormalities may become apparent only when the heart is asked to perform at increased workloads. The stress test is used to evaluate the heart and vascular system during exercise. It helps answer to two general questions:
- Is CAD present that only becomes apparent when the heart is stressed by exercise?
- If there is underlying heart disease, how severe is it likely to be?