Cardiac Stress Test

A cardiac stress test (also called an exercise test or a treadmill test) may help your caregiver see how well your heart works during exercise. Exercise is a form of body stress. The longer you exercise, the harder your body needs to work. Your heart must work double time to pump more blood to supply the body with more oxygen. A cardiac stress test is usually done to check for blockages in the arteries of your heart.

A Cardiac Stress Test is useful for:

  • Checking how the heart works during exercise after heart attack or heart surgery.
  • Helping determine if someone is at risk of a heart attack.
  • Helping detect heart disease or arrhythmias
    (abnormal heartbeats).
  • Finding the cause of heart-related symptoms,
    such as chest pain or shortness of breath.
  • Setting a safe level for an exercise program.

A cardiac stress test can be done in a clinic, a caregiver’s office or in a hospital. You are asked to exercise using a stationary bicycle or a treadmill. While you are walking or jogging, the activity of your heart is being watched on a monitor. A continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) will be done during the stress test. Your breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate will also be checked during the test.