Cardiac Stress Testing in Maryland and NOVA

Maintaining your heart’s health is crucial, especially for children with heart conditions. A cardiac stress test is a valuable diagnostic tool that helps evaluate your heart’s performance under varying levels of physical activity. This test can diagnose an array of heart issues, such as coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, and other heart disorders.

At The Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medicine, we provide a comprehensive family-oriented approach to healthcare. Our pediatric cardiology clinic, staffed with an attending pediatric cardiologist and pediatric sub-specialists, offers expert care for non-cardiac health issues. To learn more about the pediatric cardiac stress tests available at our clinics in Maryland and Virginia, contact us today to schedule your child’s appointment.

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease and a leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States. It occurs when cholesterol and plaque build up within the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart. This gradual buildup can cause the arteries to narrow, potentially leading to a heart attack.


An arrhythmia refers to an irregular heartbeat that can cause the heart to beat too fast or too slow. It requires prompt treatment to prevent complications.

Additionally, various heart conditions necessitate ongoing monitoring, even after diagnosis. This helps ensure that the current treatment plan is effective, allowing for adjustments if necessary.

What Are The Types of Cardiac Stress Testing?

Cardiac stress tests fall into two main categories:

Standard exercise stress test: This involves attaching electrodes (monitors) to the patient while they engage in physical activity, typically running on a treadmill. An electrocardiogram (EKG) records the heart’s activity during exercise.
Imaging stress test: This test uses various imaging technologies, such as echocardiography (echo) or positron emission tomography (PET), to create images of the heart at rest and during moderate exercise. It’s beneficial for diagnosing blood flow issues and is ideal for patients unable to perform a standard exercise stress test.

What to Expect During Cardiac Stress Testing?

Preparing for a cardiac stress test is simple.

  • Expect to spend about 90 minutes at the doctor’s office, although the test should last around 15 minutes.
  • Wear comfortable clothing suitable for exercise and be prepared to remove your shirt for the EKG electrodes.
  • Consider bringing a water bottle or towel for cooling down after the test.
  • Avoid caffeine 24 hours prior to the test, and inform your doctor of all medications you’re currently taking.

During the test, your heart’s activity is monitored at rest and during exercise. Some discomfort during exercise is normal, but notify your administrator if you experience significant pain.

What To Expect After A Cardiac Stress Test?

Post-test discomfort should subside gradually, but seek immediate treatment if you experience severe chest pains, difficulty breathing, dizziness, or other intense symptoms. After the stress test, you can return home and await your results, which should arrive within a few days.

Schedule Your Child’s Cardiac Stress Test with The Children’s Heart Institute

If your child has been diagnosed with a heart condition, or if you suspect they may have a heart issue, don’t wait to seek testing. The Children’s Heart Institute, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, offers comprehensive testing for pediatric heart conditions in Maryland and Northern Virginia. Our experienced team, including our pediatric cardiologists and pediatric sub-specialists, are equipped to provide the specialized care your child needs. Schedule your child’s appointment at one of our pediatric cardiology clinics in Maryland and NOVA and ensure they receive the expert care and support they deserve. Call now to schedule your appointment and take the first step towards better heart health for your child.