Used in the diagnosis and monitoring of coronary artery disease and cardiac arrhythmia, an exercise stress test involves electrocardiogram (cardiac electrical tracing), blood pressure and symptom monitoring during exercise on a motorised treadmill.
Initially the treadmill moves at a slow pace with a mild incline. Every 3 minutes the speed and slope of the treadmill increase. The treadmill can be stopped at any time if the patient is uncomfortable or if an abnormality is detected.
It is helpful to wear comfortable rubber soled shoes during the test.
A stress test combined with a consultation with a cardiologist is often a good starting point in a general cardiac assessment.