An exercise stress test usually involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike while your heart rhythm, blood pressure and breathing are monitored. Your doctor may recommend an exercise stress test if he or she suspects you have coronary artery disease or an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia). A stress test can determine if you have heart disease. A doctor or trained technician performs the test. He’ll learn how much your heart can manage before an abnormal rhythm starts or blood flow to your heart muscle drops.
There are different types of these. The exercise stress test — also known as an exercise electrocardiogram, treadmill test, graded exercise test, or stress EKG — is used most often. It lets your doctor know how your heart responds to being pushed. You’ll walk on a treadmill or pedal a stationary bike. It’ll get more difficult as you go. Your electrocardiogram, heart rate, and blood pressure will be tracked throughout.
Why Do I Need It?
Your doctor uses the test to:
· Help to assess symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath or palpitations, to determine whether they are coming from the heart
· See if enough blood flows to your heart as you get more active
· Learn how your heart medications are working
· Find out if it’s likely that you have coronary heart disease and need more testing
· Identify abnormal heart rhythms
· See how well your heart valves are working
· Help you develop a safe exercise program