AF Association
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Chemical Stress Test.....what to expect

Dear fellow a fibers" across the pond". I'm writing from the US and would like to know of any experiences you might have had with a chemical stress test. I am 74 and was diagnosed with afib 4 years ago. At that time I did have an angiogram with good results. My basic drugs are Flecainide, Elaquis, Metoprolol and Valsartan; and my afib is under very good control. I do have severe osteoarthritis and am a candidate for knee replacements. Now, my cardiologist thinks a chemical stress test is a good test to have done to get a bench mark and prepare for any surgery. I have never personally known anybody who had a chemical stress test and would very much like to read of others experiences. As always, many thanks to this site and all who share the ups and downs of afib.

6 Replies

Sorry I can't give personal experience but I do know othera who have had it. You are well looked after during the event and in the best place. It doesn't take too long I believe. You are wired up and a drug infused which makes you heart work hard whilst you lay on a bed/couch and they watch what is going on on an ECG (EKG to you) machine. I was younger and less arthritis when I last had a normal type "rolling road" stress test but still struggled not to fly backwards off the machine as they pushed me harder and harder. Not elegant in any way. ha ha

1 like

Had one recently, no problem, all wired up and about 4 people monitoring, much less distressing than cardiac MRI.


I'm in the US as well and had a chemical stress test a few months ago. I have AF and take Flecainide, Atenolol, and Losartan HCTZ. I made it through the test, but be prepared for how quickly the injected drug hits. It instantly took my breath away and made my heart race, but it just as quickly went away. I didn't like it, but it was necessary as I have an arthritic knee. Unlike you, my AF is not totally under control and I'm waiting for a cryoablation to be scheduled. You'll make it just fine, the tech and doctor are right there.


I had one done. Piece of cake. 10 minutes. 3-4 people with you. Makes u fee like u need to go potty, but maybe that was just me. Don't worry. Much easier than the other kind of stress test. Good luck.


I had this type of stress test a few days ago and had no problem. They simply inject a dye through an IV and for about 3 minutes you may feel warm, need to take a few extra breaths and then you are finished. I came through with excellent results.


Hi, I can only say what everyone one else has said, it's slightly unpleasant when they first start the drug, however you are really well looked after. I was really anxious about the whole thing but it was really nothing to worry about. You will be fine. Let us know how you get on. Best wishes Kath


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