What is a pharmacologic stress test?

Updated: Nov 20, 2018
  • Author: Richard S Krause, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Pharmacologic stress testing, established after exercise testing, is a diagnostic procedure in which cardiovascular stress is induced by pharmacologic agents in patients with decreased functional capacity or in patients who cannot exercise. The most widely available pharmacologic agents for stress testing are dipyridamole (Persantine), adenosine, regadenoson (Lexiscan), and dobutamine. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against the use of adenosine and regadenoson in patients with signs or symptoms of unstable angina or cardiovascular instability. [2, 3]

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