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Phoenix Cardiovascular Institute Graded Exercise and Treadmill Stress Tests

Graded Exercise and Treadmill Stress Tests

What is an Exercise Stress Test used for?

A Graded Exercise Stress Test (GXT) or Exercise Treadmill Test (ETT) allows doctors to observe the ability of the patient to perform cardiovascular exercise (functional capacity), detect evidence of lack of blood supply to the heart muscles due to blockages in the coronary arteries, and to evaluate patients with an abnormal heart rhythm.

If you already have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, a stress test may enable your Cardiologist to estimate the risk and the severity of the blockages. In addition, the doctor can use the information to prescribe appropriate exercise and heart rate target for cardiac rehabilitation purposes. A stress test can also help to monitor the success of cardiac revascularization procedures such as coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft.

How is an Exercise Stress Test Performed?

After being hooked up to EKG machine, and a blood pressure monitor, the patient walks on a treadmill. The speed and slope of the treadmill is increased at predefined intervals, typically every 3 minutes. EKG, heart rate, and blood pressure are recorded at rest, during exercise, and during recovery.

Most patients can exercise for between 3 and 15 minutes depending on their age and physical state. The ability to exercise, heart rate, blood pressure response, the EKG, rhythm during exercise and recovery will be compared by the Physician.

Diagnostic Testing