Exercise Treadmill ECG
Also known as an exercise electrocardiogram, exercise electrocardiography or exercise stress testing.
Your exercise performance can be assessed during the test.
The test starts off at a very easy rate and is gradually made harder either by increasing the speed and slope of the treadmill. A doctor will supervise the test and will carefully check your ECG readings, blood pressure and breathing.
The medical staff will tell you when to stop - usually when they have the measurements they need. They will also tell you to stop if you get tired or very short of breath, or if you start getting unpleasant chest pains. Let them know if you get any of these symptoms. You can also tell the staff if you cannot carry on with the test. They will then take more ECG readings after you have stopped exercising.
The exercise test usually lasts about 15 minutes. It can be hard work, but should not be too much for you. Many people are pleasantly surprised by how much they can achieve. The value of the test is much greater if you try to work as hard as you can.
After the test, you may be told that you have had a 'positive' or a 'negative' exercise ECG.
· A negative exercise ECG means there are no unusual or obvious changes shown on the ECG during the test.
The exercise ECG is a very useful test, but it is still not 100% accurate. Sometimes people with a normal heart have an exercise ECG that shows abnormalities. (For some unknown reason this often happens with young women). And sometimes a person who does have coronary heart disease may have a normal exercise ECG.
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