Treadmill Stress Test

An investigation to assess how your heart, lungs and blood vessels respond to increasing workload and exercise.

Why do I require an Exercise Stress Test (EST)?

  • You may have symptoms or signs suggestive of coronary artery disease such as chest pain
  • Your cardiologist may require to assess your condition following a cardiac procedure.
  • To assess how your heart rate responses to exercise.
  • To assess how your blood pressure responds to exercise.
  • To examine your heart for potential exercise induced heart rhythm abnormalities.
  • You may have significant risk factors for coronary artery disease such as smoking, high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

How do I prepare for an Exercise Stress Test (EST)?

  • Some heart medications may need to be stopped prior to the investigation.
  • Please do not smoke or consume alcohol 4 hours prior to the test.
  • Please avoid food containing caffeine such as chocolate, tea and coffee for 2hours prior to the test.
  • You are not required to fast, but encouraged to hydrate yourself and have a light meal a few hours prior to the test. Please refrain from heavy exertion at least 2hours prior to this test.
  • Please wear comfortable clothing and suitable shoes for brisk walking.
  • You should able to do the test if you can walk easily or walk briskly. If you believe you cannot walk easily in order to participate in the test, do contact us immediately. Your doctor may recommend another more suitable test after a discussion with you.

What can I expect during the Exercise Stress Test (EST)?

  • The EST will be supervised by your experienced cardiac technologist and your doctor.
  • You will be asked to perform the exercise test wearing a gown, with electrode stickers on your chest. The electrodes will be attached to the cables linked to the ECG machine. You will also wear a blood pressure cuff around your arm.
  • You will be asked to perform a graded exercise test. You will be asked to achieve a pre-determined heart rate. The workload will increase every 3 minutes (in speed and incline).
  • Your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored during the test, and also after the test during the recovery stage.
  • If you experience chest pain or shortness of breath, the EST will be terminated immediately if determined by your doctor.
  • If you have any symptoms or are unable to progress with the test, you must inform us immediately.

What are the risks involved?

Your cardiologist should have assessed you medically and determined that you will benefit from this investigation. It is a safe procedure, but there are a few risks involved:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Abnormal heart rhythm that may require a electric shock (DC cardioversion)
  • Heart attack (rare)
  • Death as a result (it is extremely rare: <1 in 10,000)