TREADMILL STRESS TEST
The Exercise Tolerance test is also called a Stress test. The following information does not replace personal advice from a healthcare professional. Please ask Dr Kosta, a consultant cardiologist, if you have any questions related to this specific cardiac stress test.
DVLA, TFL, PCO friendly environment. Combine your Treadmill Stress Test with an Echocardiogram (for the LVEF) and we will fill in the forms for you without any extra charge.
It is quite common for people who have heart disease to show normal results on heart tests performed under resting, relaxed conditions. However, these results can become abnormal when the heart is made to work harder. This is the basis for stress tests.
What is an Exercise Tolerance test?
The Exercise Tolerance test (Stress test) checks your heart while you walk and run on a treadmill.
The test takes about 30 minutes and is carried out by one cardiac male or female physiologist and a doctor.
Why do I need a Treadmill Stress Test?
The Treadmill stress test helps your cardiologist learn more about your heart during exercise.
To see if a person with no cardiac symptoms has silent coronary artery disease, i.e. blockages or hardening of the arteries of the heart. (In many patients, the first signs of heart disease is a heart attack or death without any preceding warning symptoms)
To determine if a patient’s symptoms (such as chest discomfort or difficulty in breathing) are due to heart disease rather than another problem
To check that the treatment given to a patient for blocked arteries is working properly
To assess a patient’s exercise tolerance before beginning an exercise or cardiac rehabilitation programme
To determine if exercise causes an abnormal heart rhythm.
What to bring for the Exercise Tolerance test?
Wear flat, comfortable shoes or trainers, and loose clothing. If you want to have a shower after the test, bring a change of clothes and toiletries.
Before the Treadmill Stress Test procedure
The only preparation for a stress test is that you must only eat a light meal, avoid strenuous exercise for 3 hours preceding the test and avoid or minimise smoking for 24 hours beforehand. You will need to take off your clothes from above your waist, and wear a hospital gown.
A physiologist will put 10 electrodes on to your chest. The electrodes are small, sticky patches, connected to a monitor with leads. The monitor will record your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity.
Monitoring your heart with electrodes is called an electrocardiogram (ECG). A physiologist will stay with you during the test. If you have any questions, please ask him/her.
For the test, the physiologists will firstly monitor your heart at rest, and then monitor your heart during exercise.
Monitoring your heart at rest
The physiologist monitors your heart while you are sitting down. He/she will also put a blood pressure cuff around your arm, to measure your blood pressure during the treadmill stress test.
Monitoring your heart during exercise
After monitoring your heart at rest, the physiologist will ask you to walk on a treadmill. He/she will explain what to do. You walk on the treadmill, slowly at first. Every three minutes the treadmill gets slightly steeper and faster, and your heart works harder. Depending on your ability, you walk on the treadmill for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes the treadmill slows down gradually. If you feel any pain or discomfort you can ask the physiologist to stop the treadmill. It is important to wait until the treadmill has come to a complete stop before you step off.
After the Stress test
There is a changing area in the Cardiology/ ECG department.
About your Exercise Tolerance Test results
Dr Kosta will prepare the official report and he will send it to you after few hours. You will also keep the ECG trace (with a report on it) for you and your doctor reference. The physiologist will send your stress test results to the doctor who requested the test. The doctor will go through those results and may arrange further appointments, if necessary. For Health & Safety reasons the test takes part at Ealing Hospital (Under Trust Plus).
If you are booked to come in for a Treadmill stress test and have any questions or would like further information please contact us on 0786 211 5571.