An Exercise Tolerance Test or Stress Test records the heart’s electrical activity (rate and rhythm) during exercise. It is useful chiefly in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease. By placing the stress of exercise on the heart, the test can bring out abnormalities caused by partial blockages in the coronary arteries – abnormalities that are often completely unapparent at rest.
Following are some frequently asked questions about the test and how to prepare for it. Click on the question for the answer, which will appear below the questions.
During the test, the cardiologist and a technician are present. Electrodes will be placed on the chest the same as for an electrocardiogram (ECG). Your blood pressure, heart rate, and ECG will be recorded at rest, usually while you are lying on your back and again when standing.
You will then be asked to perform a “graded” exercise test on a motor-driven treadmill. The exercise-protocol that you will follow will be determined by the cardiologist supervising your test, but will begin at a relatively easy level and become progressively more difficult with each subsequent stage.
Your blood pressure, heart rate, and ECG will be recorded at frequent intervals during exercise and after exercise. The physicians or technologist may stop the test at any time for medical reasons. You may ask to stop the test at any time because of significant fatigue or discomfort. However, we encourage you to exercise as long as possible so that we may assess your heart under maximum stress.
Referral for the stress test if required by your insurance company.
The test will be performed at:
Legacy Heart Center 6601 Preston Road Plano, Texas 75024
It is very important that you keep your appointment once it is scheduled. If you must cancel your appointment, please give the office at least 24 hours notice by calling 469-800-6300. Our testing schedule requires tight time restrictions, so please notify the office immediately if you will be late for your appointment. We appreciate your complete cooperation.
Your physician will obtain valuable information about the condition of your cardiovascular system from the exercise tolerance test. The test is one of several diagnostic tools that are available to help determine the presence of absence of heart disease. The stress EKG also helps your physician determine your level of cardiovascular conditioning and assess the safety of an exercise program for you.
After a review of the test, your medical history, other imaging modalities and previous tests by a Legacy Heart Center cardiologist, a report will be sent to the ordering physician. The ordering physician will then review the results and discuss them with you.