What is a Stress ECG?
A stress ECG is a test that shows how well your heart handles exercise. You’ll be asked to walk on a treadmill with several sensors (called ‘electrodes’) attached to your chest. These are connected to a machine.
We will increase the difficulty level on the treadmill as you go and track your results on the electrocardiogram and also see how your heart rate and blood pressure respond. The test will reveal how your heart rhythm, it’s rhythm and performance respond to stress.
Why do I need a Stress ECG?
Your doctor may recommend a Stress ECG if they suspect you may have a heart problem such as coronary heart disease.
You may need a Stress ECG if you are experiencing:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
A Stress ECG can also be used to check the effectiveness of heart disease treatments or to help you develop a safe exercise program.
What can I expect?
A Stress ECG takes less than 45 minutes and is an extremely safe procedure.
You’ll be supervised by a doctor and technician, who will stop the test if they feel it is appropriate.
To prepare for the test, please:
- Wear clothing and shoes suitable for exercise
- Do not eat, smoke or drink alcohol for 1-2 hours before the test
- Do not consume caffeine (such as tea, coffee, cola or chocolate) for 24 hours before the test
- If you use an inhaler to help with breathing, bring it with you
You may also be asked to stop taking medications such as beta blockers, diltiazem or verapamil 48 hours before the day of your test.