Treadmill Testing

What is treadmill testing?

Treadmill test is a type of test done to identify whether the heart has sufficient oxygen and blood circulation under physical stress. The test will also help to find the abnormalities in the heart rhythm and BP. The test usually makes use of treadmill exercise. Treadmill test is usually used to diagnose Coronary Heart Disease. The test will help to find the severity of the condition in the patient. Other issues that can be detected using the stress test are:

  • Abnormalities in the heart rhythm

  • Abnormalities in the heart rate

  • Abnormalities in the blood pressure level

  • Causes for symptoms like shortness of breath and chest pain

How is the test performed?

The test is performed in the clinic/hospital. For a short period of time before the test, the patient will not be allowed to have any food. If the patient is diabetic, he/she will be advised to make some adjustments in taking the medication for diabetes on the day of the test. A technician or assistant will be there to give all the help and assistance to the patient during the test. The technician will keep checking the health status of the patient. Electrodes are attached to the chest, skin of the arms and legs of the patient. The electrodes will be connected to an electrocardiogram machine outside. The machine records all the electrical signals from the heart during every action. During the test, the patient will need to do treadmill exercise as directed by the nurse. While the electrode records the heart’s actions, the nurse or technician will record the blood pressure level. The patient will need to continue the treadmill exercise until he/she reaches a target heart rate. Even after the test, the nurse will check the blood pressure and heart function.

How are the results analysed?

The first-line results will be available on the same day of the test. However, it may take a few days to get the final results. As per the results of the test, the doctor will determine whether the patient has any heart condition or not. If the doctor is not able to determine, he/she will suggest another test to confirm the result.