A stress test is most commonly used to objectively determine how the heart functions during stress or activity in a non-invasive way. It can also sometimes be used to determine the presence or absence of symptoms in patients with other structural heart conditions.
The test usually involves walking on a treadmill or using an exercise bike. During the course of the test the speed and work required gradually increased to 'stress' the heart. On occasion a drug is administered through a drip to speed the heart up (for example when a patient in unable to perform the required exercise).
The most common types of stress testing include: