OSF St. Mary Medical Center

Galesburg, Illinois

Cardiology Testing

Stress Testing

Your doctor may order a stress test to help diagnose the cause of your chest pain, evaluate the efficacy of heart procedures, or medications. They may want to look for abnormal heart rhythms or determine the level of exercise that is right for you.

If you are able to walk, the stress test will generally be done on a treadmill. You will be hooked up to an EKG machine that will record your tracing during the entire test. Your blood pressure will be monitored as well as your signs and symptoms of heart disease will be recorded and evaluated.

Nuclear Medicine

During the stress test a very small and harmless amount of radioactive substance can be injected into the patient.

Then the doctor uses a special camera to identify the rays emitted from the substance within the body.

This produces clear pictures of the heart tissue while lying on a table and then while exercising on a treadmill.

You will exercise until your heart rate increases to a level that the supervising doctor feels is adequate for the stress test.

The resting and stress scans are them compared by the radiologist.

Non-Exercise Stress Test

If you are not able to exercise, a drug can be used to simulate exercise on the heart while you lie on a cart hooked up to the EKG machine.

The same type of radioactive substance can be used to produce a clear picture of what is going on with your heart circulation.

Special Instructions

Your doctor and the hospital will give you specific instructions about the test you will have and why.

It is our mission to keep you well informed and prepared for the testing you will receive.


An echocardiogram is a specialized ultrasound test of the heart. Through the use of the special transducer all of the heart valves and chambers can be evaluated from outside the chest in a non-invasive manner.

The test is very useful in the evaluation of heart murmurs, heart wall function, and the determination of size of the heart chambers.

In 2009, the Echocardiogram Laboratory was nationally credentialed by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiogram Laboratories (ICAEL). Only 1,000 hospitals or clinics in the United States have this distinction.

Holter Monitoring

A test used to measure the rate, rhythm and type of heartbeat by recording the heart's electrical activity over a 24 hour period.

Patches (electrodes) are placed on the skin and wires are connected to them. The wires connect to a small recorder that is carried over the shoulder or around the waist.

An individual is asked to keep a diary of activity while wearing the monitor.