Cardiac Stress Test (Treadmill Test)

Cardiac Stress Test (Treadmill Test)

A cardiac stress test, otherwise called a treadmill test, is a diagnostic test used to determine the effects of exercise on the heart; to detect abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and diagnose the presence or absence of coronary artery disease.

For this test, the patient is required to walk on a treadmill while having the electrical activity of their heart monitored. As the test progresses, the speed and incline of the treadmill increases. The results will show how well the patient’s heart responds to the stress of different levels of exercise.

How is it performed?

  • Our technologist will first explain the test to the patient. 
  • Adhesive electrodes will be placed on the patient’s chest to record an ECG. 
  • Their resting blood pressure, heart rate and ECG will be recorded before the test begins.
  • They will be asked to walk on a treadmill. The walk will start off slow, then the speed and incline will be increased at set intervals. 
  • Their blood pressure, heart rate and ECG will be monitored throughout the test. If a problem occurs, the technologist will stop the test immediately. It is important that the patient communicates to the technologist if they experience any symptoms, such as chest pain, dizziness, unusual shortness of breath or extreme fatigue.
  • Following the test, the patient will be asked to lie down. Their blood pressure, heart rate and ECG will be monitored for three to five minutes after the exercise.
  • The data will be reviewed by a cardiologist after the test is completed and a diagnosis will be made. 

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