ECG signal

Dr Diana R Holdright

Consultant Cardiologist

Dr Diana Holdright

Cardiac Investigations - Exercise Tolerance Test

An exercise tolerance test, sometimes called a stress ECG or treadmill test, is an ECG carried out while the patient exercises, usually on a treadmill but sometimes on a stationary bicycle. Chest pain or other symptoms brought on by exercise can be indicative of angina, a specific type of pain or discomfort caused by coronary artery disease. An exercise ECG can therefore help to diagnose coronary heart disease, and in patients already known to have this condition it can give more detailed information about the severity of the illness and help doctors to establish a treatment regimen. The test usually takes about half an hour, beginning at a very easy rate and gradually made harder by increasing the slope and speed of the treadmill. The ECG tracing and blood pressure will be monitored constantly by a doctor and a technician, and readings will continue to be taken in the recovery period after exercising. The test can be stopped at any time if the patient develops any chest pain, breathlessness or fatigue. Comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for exercise should be brought along for the test.

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Cardiac Investigations - Exercise Tolerance Test