A stress test can determine your risk of having heart disease. Some heart problems — particularly those involving the arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle (coronary arteries) — occur only during physical activity. However, an echocardiogram can’t provide information about any blockages in the heart’s arteries.
A stress ECG is a test done to assess how well the heart works under stress. The “stress” can be triggered by either exercise on a treadmill. An electrocardiogram (ECG) monitors your heart’s electrical rhythms. You will be encouraged to exercise until you are exhausted. It is normal for your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and perspiration to increase, Electrodes (conductive patches) will be placed on your chest, arms, and legs to record the heart’s activity.
The test is performed to see whether your heart muscle is getting enough blood flow and oxygen when it is working hard (under stress).
A physician may recommend an exercise stress test to:
- Diagnose coronary artery disease
- Diagnose a possible heart-related cause of symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or lightheadedness
- Check the effectiveness of procedures done to improve coronary artery circulation in patients with coronary artery disease.
- Predict risk of dangerous heart-related conditions such as a heart attack.