TREADMILL STRESS ELECTROCARDIOGRAM

A stress electrocardiogram provides information about how the heart responds to physical stress. It usually involves walking on a treadmill at increasing levels of difficulty, while the electrocardiogram, heart rate and blood pressure are monitored.

Your doctor uses the stress test to:

*Determine if there is adequate blood flow to your heart during increasing levels of activity.

*Evaluate the effectiveness of your cardiac treatment plan.

*Determine the likelihood of having coronary artery disease and the need for future intervention.

What to expect: Upon arrival to the office, the patient will need to disrobe from the waist up and a gown will be worn for the duration of the test. Ten small areas of your chest are cleaned, and small sticky electrode patches are attached to these areas. Men may expect to have their chest partially shaved to help the electrodes stick. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiograph (ECG) monitor that charts your heart’s electrical activity during the test.

Your blood pressure and ECG recording will be taken before, during and after exercise. You will begin to exercise by walking on a treadmill. The degree of difficulty will gradually increase. You will be asked to exercise very hard until you are exhausted.

At regular intervals, the lab personnel will ask how you are feeling. Please tell them if you feel chest, arm or jaw pain or discomfort; shortness of breath; dizziness; lightheadedness; or any other unusual symptoms. It is normal for your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and perspiration to increase during the test. The lab personnel will watch for any symptoms or changes on the ECG monitor that suggest the test should be stopped.

After the test you will walk slowly for a couple of minutes to cool down. Your heart rate, blood pressure and ECG will continue to be monitored until the levels are returning to normal.

This exam does not require any needles, dyes, or radiation. Testing takes approximately 1 hour for preparation and study.

Preparation: Do not eat or drink anything except water for four hours before the test. Ask your doctor what medications should be taken on the day of your test. If you use an inhaler for breathing, bring it to the test. If you are diabetic, ask your physician how to adjust your medications the day of your test. Wear comfortable clothes and soft-soled shoes suitable for walking. Women should wear a bra.

Locations: This test is done in our Farmington Hills and Novi offices.

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