Cardiac Stress Testing

Cardiac stress tests are used to track arterial blood flow through the heart during exercise, or when stimulated by specialty drugs to simulate exercise. Because the heart has to work harder during exercise, physicians are better able to detect problems that may not be evident at rest. Cardiologists use the tests to diagnose or check the progression of coronary heart disease, in which plaque builds up in the arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart muscle.

Because various types of imaging technologies each have their own advantages, UNC has the full range of capabilities for tracking blood flow during stress tests, including echocardiography and two types of nuclear imaging: Myocardial perfusion imaging and PET (positron emission tomography) rubidium studies. All can be performed at UNC either as outpatient or inpatient procedures. The PET study is the more sensitive of the nuclear tests and provides better resolution, in addition to being faster and more suitable for larger patients.


Larry Klein, MD
Brian Hyslop, MD

Contact Us

Call the Heart & Vascular Center referral line at 866-862-4327 to find specialists, make an appointment or learn more about preventing heart disease.

Open Access is a new physician referral service, created by the UNC Center for Heart & Vascular Care, which coordinates all admissions and transfers through a single phone call and guarantees immediate acceptance for patients. Please contact us to learn more or call 866-862-4327.

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