Our Calgary clinic was the first in Alberta to offer onsite exercise stress echocardiograms to help diagnose various cardiac diseases. This unique modality is more specific than the thallium stress test without the harmful radiation exposure. Stress test or the treadmill test helps to determine the functioning of your heart and how it functions during exercise or physical stress.
Electrodes (stickers) will be placed on the specific areas of the chest to record your heart function. Before you start exercising, your heart rate and blood pressure are measured. The blood pressure will be measured throughout the test. You will begin walking on a treadmill. Gradually the intensity of the exercise is increased, by increasing the speed and incline of the treadmill. The test is stopped after reaching a target heart rate. During this time, your heart rate, electrocardiogram (ECG), and blood pressure are monitored.
You may be instructed not to eat, smoke or drink alcohol, tea or coffee several hours before the test. You may be asked to wear comfortable clothes during the test. Do not discontinue any medications without consulting your doctor.
Abnormal test results may be due to coronary heart disease, arrhythmias, lack of physical fitness, or stress on the heart increased by exercise.
How to prepare for the test
- Do not do any strenuous activity for 12 hours before the test
- Do not eat, drink, or smoke for 2 hours before the test
- Wear comfortable shoes and comfortable clothes for the test