Treadmill Stress Testing

Treadmill stress testing is a noninvasive procedure used to determine how well the heart can handle physical activity. This procedure may be used to diagnose heart conditions such as coronary artery disease, determine a safe level of exercise for patients or to determine the effectiveness of a procedure to improve circulation in patients with heart disease. This test may also be performed in patients over the age of 35 to screen for heart disease, especially before beginning a vigorous exercise program.

During this exam, patients are hooked up to equipment that monitors the heart as they begin to slowly walk on a treadmill, similar to an EKG procedure. As the speed and incline of the treadmill is increased, the heart rate, breathing and blood pressure are monitored to determine any changes in the heart while you exercise. This test is performed in conjunction with a resting EKG exam, so that the results of both can be compared. Patients also report to the doctor how they are feeling after the test in order to determine an effective outcome or treatment plan.

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