An electrocardiogram (ECG) is your heart's voice, revealing vital electrical signals that guide your cardiac health. At Aster Hospitals, we prioritize your well-being, offering ECG tests to swiftly detect and monitor heart issues. Trusted by experts, ECGs are standard in our OPD’s, operating rooms and ambulances, ensuring prompt care when every heartbeat counts.
An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a painless, non-invasive way to diagnose several common heart problems. A healthcare professional may use ECG to detect:-
Irregular rhythms of the heart
If blockage of arteries is causing chest pain
Whether one had a previous episode of a heart attack
How well specific treatments for heart diseases are working
- An ECG is often advisable if one experiences any of the following signs and symptoms:-
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Increase in pulse rate
- Shortness in breath
- Generalized weakness
The Cardiology Department at Aster Hospitals offers comprehensive diagnostic services for cardiac health. Our range of services includes Electrocardiograms (ECGs) performed both at rest and during exercise, known as exercise stress tests.
An exercise stress test, also referred to as stress electrocardiography, provides valuable insights into the heart's performance during physical activity. Patients typically walk on a treadmill or pedal on a stationary bike while their heart activity is monitored.
As the heart rate reaches peak levels, our physicians conduct an electrocardiogram to assess its response. Trust Aster Hospitals for accurate cardiac evaluations that help ensure your heart's optimal function and well-being.
A stress test is usually performed to determine the following:-
How well the heart pumps the blood
Whether the heart is receiving an adequate amount of blood
The symptoms you are experiencing can be reproduced while performing physical activity.
A cardiac stress test helps the healthcare provider determine if one needs additional, often invasive, tests to confirm a diagnosis or if treatment may lower the chances of a heart attack. At the time of the stress test, the healthcare provider assesses the response to the increased workload by measuring the blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels, electrical activity in the heart, and how healthy our heart is compared to other people of the same age and sex.
- Common indications of doing a stress test are:
- Congenital heart diseases
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary heart disease
- Heart valve disease
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Diagnose arrhythmias
- Guide treatment of heart diseases
- People with high-risk occupations, like pilots or athletes, may need stress tests.
Stress tests are also done for people with a heart ailment who want to start exercising. Furthermore, it is done for those who want to assess how well their current medications work. The stress test is recommended for people with diabetes, hypertension, high blood cholesterol, and a family history of premature heart disease.
Although a stress test is always safe, complications may occur rarely. A few incidences of chest pain, syncope, heart attack, and arrhythmia have been reported while doing this test.
Stress tests can be done with or without imaging. The most common exercise stress tests are:
- A blood pressure cuff is placed around the arm.
- Electrodes are placed on the body. Electrodes are the sensors that pick up the electrical signals of the heart. The electrodes are connected to the computer or ECG machine to record the electrical activity in the heart during a stress test.
- If one cannot exercise, an intravenous line is inserted into the arm's vein. A medicine is injected through the intravenous catheter. The medicine makes the heart beat faster, while the ECG machine records the activities of the heart.
- If you can exercise, you must walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike. On a treadmill, the speed increases slowly. On a bicycle, the resistance increases slowly, so your heart beats faster. However, the test stops when you develop chest pain, breathlessness, dizziness, or fatigue.
- The patient is monitored for 10–15 minutes, or until the heart rate returns to normal.
If one plans to undergo a stress test, one must wear comfortable shoes and clothing. The health care provider usually provides instructions for the other test prerequisites. One may be asked to fast and stop smoking for at least a few hours before the test. Caffeinated drinks are typically avoided. One must consult a doctor before stopping the medications.
Recently, a few more tests have been performed in a few centers to enhance diagnostic accuracy. Some of them are:-
- Stress echocardiogram
- Nuclear stress test
- Cardiac MRI test
Advanced Technology & Facilities
Aster provides you with the best facilities to help diagnose various cardiac conditions. At Aster, we use modern technology to help doctors diagnose various cardiac ailments non-invasively. The tests are readily available at Aster Hospitals and can be taken by anyone who wants to know their cardiac health condition.
The diagnostic stress tests provided at Aster Hospitals include:
- Exercise stress test: This is the most common and basic stress test. It involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle. A well-trained physiologist monitors the speed and elevation of the treadmill. If one can't exercise, one is given medication to make the heart beat harder and faster. An ECG records the heart's electrical activity and checks for signs of coronary artery disease.
- Exercise stress echocardiogram: An exercise stress echocardiogram is similar to a basic stress test but provides more detail on how the heart functions. The cardiac imaging test uses sound waves to evaluate blood flow through the heart as well as the various chambers of the heart.
- Nuclear stress test: This test uses safe levels of a radioactive substance and a cardiac imaging scan to assess the heart's function. The cardiologist compares the amount of blood that flows through the heart at rest and during exercise.
Nuclear stress tests are used to:
- Determine the severity of the blockage
- Assess whether previous treatments are working or not
- To avoid invasive heart tests
- Cardiac rehabilitation stress test
Rehabilitation is a medically supervised program that helps people with heart disease to become physically active. It includes an entrance stress test as well as an exit stress test.