The stress test helps the cardiologist to rule out severe coronary heart disease, to assess the patient’s functional status and the effectiveness of the treatment given. The examinee undergoes physical exercise with an automatic treadmil under continuous electrocardiographic monitoring during the examination.
How is it done?
The electrodes are placed on the patients sternum and chest for continuous recording of the electrocardiogram. A light shave may be needed in some areas for better placement of the electrodes. The patient steps on the treadmill and the examination begins.
It consists of stages with increasing speed and inclination of the machine. Usually each stage lasts 3 minutes. The final stage is the recovery period when the examination is completed. The total time of the examination varies from 20-25 minutes depending on the patient. Your heart rate, blood pressure, electrocardiogram and symptoms are recorded during the test. At any time you feel chest pain, dizziness or shortness of breath the test is stopped.
If you are taking B blockers or calcium channel blockers (verapamil, diltiazem) you should stop taking them for 24-48 hours before the test, unless the test is performed to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment and the functional capacity. It is not allowed to eat or drink and you must not smoke 2-4 hours before the test. You can drink water. You should not consume caffeinated products such as coffee, tea, chocolate and caffeine-containing analgesics. Wear appropriate clothing and sneakers to be comfortable.
Where is it used?
- Diagnosis of coronary heart disease in patients with suspected symptoms (chest pain, palpitations, dizziness, syncope).
- Exclusion of coronary heart disease in asymptomatic patients over the age of 40, belonging to special professions (pilots, public transport drivers, etc.).
- In patients with known coronary heart disease for functional evaluation or due to worsening of symptoms.
- In patients with previous coronary revascularization (5 years after coronary artery bypass grafting [CABG] or 2 years after percutaneous coronary angioplasty [PCI]).
- In asymptomatic patients with valvular disease (to assess exercise ability and the need for surgery).
- Acute myocardial infarction
- Unstable angina
- Arrhythmias with hemodynamic instability
- Symptomatic severe stenosis of the aorta
- Pulmonary embolism
- Severe pulmonary hypertension
- Acute myocarditis, pericarditis or endocarditis
- Acute aortic separation
- High degree of atrioventricular block
- Inability to exercise due to obesity or other physical / mental dysfunction
- Unregulated high blood pressure
Please contact us in case you need personalized detailed clarifications. This examination is performed in our office with the existing modern equipment.