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Home > Medical Services > Heart & Vascular > Tests & Diagnosis > Stress Testing
This test helps detect heart disease by providing your cardiologist with information about how your heart tolerates exercise stress. A technician will attach electrodes to your chest to monitor your heart's electrical activity (ECG) during and after exercise. You will be asked to exercise on a treadmill until you feel that you need to stop due to fatigue, shortness of breath or chest discomfort. Depending on your medical history and exercise capabilities, a medication may be substituted for physical exercise.
You will be asked to rate your level of exertion periodically. A technician and cardiologist/nurse clinician will be in the exercise room the entire time to monitor and evaluate the test. Exercise may be stopped due to changes in the ECG recording or blood pressure criteria. After you have exercised to your peak intensity, you will be monitored for several minutes.
There is low risk associated with treadmill stress testing and it is minimized by the completion of a thorough examination beforehand and by careful monitoring during the test. After the procedure, your cardiologist will review the results with you.
It may be necessary to image the heart at rest and after stress with echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) or nuclear cardiology techniques.