An exercise or stress test allows the physician to observe how the patient's
heart works during exercise.
Among the many potential indications for stress testing include:
- In patients with known and potentially serious heart disease, we can observe
how the patient's heart rate, heart rhythm, and blood pressure are
affected by exercise.
- In patients with exercise-related symptoms (e.g., chest pain, palpitations,
fainting, or trouble breathing), such testing may provide clues to diagnosis
of an important heart problem.
A technologist will place several electrodes (sticky patches) on the child's
chest to monitor the heart rhythm. A blood pressure cuff will be placed
around the patient's arm to allow blood pressure to be taken frequently
throughout the test. The child will then begin to walk on an exercise
treadmill. The speed and incline of the treadmill will gradually increase
throughout the test.
At the end of the test, the treadmill will slowly decrease in speed and
return to a flat position until it comes to a complete stop. It usually
takes one hour for the test including preparation, with the exercise part
of the test taking 10-15 minutes.
A cardiologist will be present during the entire test.