Essentials of noninvasive cardiac stress testing

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Abstract

Purpose:

To provide advanced practice nurses (APNs) with practice recommendations for noninvasive cardiac stress testing (NCST) to enhance diagnostic test selection and to improve the interpretation of the test results.

Data sources:

A review and synthesis of current scientific literature on noninvasive cardiac stress tests was conducted including a review of pertinent guidelines, indications, contraindications, procedures and findings of exercise, pharmacological, echocardiographic, and myocardial perfusion imaging studies.

Conclusions:

Noninvasive cardiac stress testing is an integral component in the care of men and women for the diagnosis, prognosis, and management of individuals at risk for cardiovascular conditions or with known histories of cardiovascular disorders.

Implications for NPs:

Cardiovascular disorders are common in our society. APNs care for a variety of individuals in the inpatient and outpatient settings that may require noninvasive cardiac stress tests for the evaluation of significant health histories and clinical presentations. An enhanced understanding of NCST improves test selection, preparation and education of patients, interpretation of test results, and implications for future patient care.

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