Stress ECG test is done by walking on a treadmill while an ECG monitor is connected to the patient. The test is performed with a qualified professional technologist present. A 12-lead ECG is taken each minute of exercise. Every 2-3 minutes the speed and incline of the treadmill are increased until such time as a near maximum heart rate is achieved, ischaemia changes are present, or the supervisor of the test decides to terminate the exercise. Once the exercise is terminated the patient lies down and an ECG is recorded every minute for 3 minutes or until ichaemic changes have returned to normal and/or heart rate has returned to normal.
The purpose of the test is the following:
• Determine the presence of exercise induced myocardial ischaemia
• Evaluate patient’s exercise tolerance
• Evaluate blood pressure response to exercise
• Evaluate the presence of exercise induced arrhythmia
• Evaluate the result of medical and surgical therapy
The electrocardiogram remains the basic cardiologic test and is widely applied in patients with suspected or known heart disease and is a basic reference for most other cardiologic tests.