Stress test: A primer for primary care physicians

Ishak A. Mansi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Although stress testing is generally a safe procedure, complications may occur. Types of stress tests include electrocar-diographic exercise stress test, myocardial imaging exercise stress test, and myocardial imaging pharmacological stress tests. Nuclear imaging stress test is a preferable modality in women. Exercise-based stress tests provide evaluations of functional capacity, as well as their blood pressure and heart rate recovery rate, which offer additional diagnostic and prognostic information. Exercise-based stress tests should be considered before using a pharmacological-based test. Different exercise protocols are available, dependent on patients' clinical status. Patients incapable of achieving 5 metabolic equivalent units (METs) of exercise should have a pharmacological stress test. Different pharmacological agents are available for stress tests, and the agents' choice depends on the patients' characteristics and their medications. Some markers may indicate a highly positive stress test, which warrants immediate attention. Indications, contraindications, and precautions for stress test modalities are discussed in this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)806-814
Number of pages9
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Adenosine stress test
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Dipyridamole
  • Dobutamine
  • Exercise test
  • Nuclear imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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