- Stress Exercise Test
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Stress Exercise Test
What is a Stress Exercise Test?
This is also called an ETT. This test allows the doctor to learn how well your heart functions when it is made to work harder. It is helpful in detecting heart rhythm problems and decreased blood flow to the heart muscle during exercise.
What can I expect before the test?
You will be asked to eat a light breakfast two hours before the test and abstain from caffeine.
You must avoid any foods, drinks or medicines that contain caffeine for at least 24 hours prior to the test.
- This includes all forms of coffee
- This includes all forms of tea
- This includes all foods and drinks that contain chocolate
- This includes some but not all soft drinks
You must not take any beta-blocker medication for 48 hours prior to the test (unless advised otherwise by your physician). If you have a question about your medication, please consult your physician and/or pharmacist.
You should wear loose and comfortable clothing suitable for exercise. Wear comfortable walking shoes or sneakers.
Please bring a current list of your medications with you.
What can I expect during the test?
There will be a physician (a cardiologist or internal medicine specialist) and a qualified technologist with you during your test.
Several small adhesive electrodes will be placed on your chest to pick up the heart's electrical signal.
Your blood pressure will be checked.
You will be asked to walk on a treadmill. The treadmill will start slowly, then increase in speed and incline every three minutes. Your heart rate, rhythm and blood pressure will be closely monitored during the exercise. You will exercise as long as you can. It is important to report any unusual symptoms such as chest or arm pain, shortness of breath, leg fatigue or dizziness. This is a heart rate based test, so it is important that you exercise as long as you can.
When you have exercised as long as you can, you will notify the doctor and they will end the test with a slow down period.
What can I expect after the test?
Your blood pressure and heart rhythm and rate will be monitored for 5-10 minutes after exercise to determine that you return to your baseline readings.
The physician performing the test will give you preliminary results.
Your doctor will talk to you at a later time concerning the results.