Treadmill stress test evaluates how the coronary arteries function at delivering adequate blood flow to the heart muscle. when it's made to work harder. During the test, the electrical activity of the heart is monitored by electrocardiogram or EKG), for heart rate, heart rhythm, and changes that may suggest significant coronary artery narrowing. Blood pressure is continuously monitored while the treadmill progressively increases in speed and elevation. Coronary artery function and exercise capacity and fitness are evaluated during a treadmill stress test.At the Cooper Heart Institute, we combine the expertise and experience of our physicians with advanced equipment and software to offer a full range of cardiac studies, including the treadmill stress test.

What to expect

A technician will place sticky patches (electrodes) on the body. These patches are connected to the ECG monitor, which will record heart activity throughout the test. A blood pressure cuff will also be used to measure changes in blood pressure during exercise. Next, the exercise portion of the test is done on a treadmill. The length of the test varies from patient to patient.

The treadmill will start slowly and then gradually increase speed and incline. Walking continues until the person is either too tired to continue, has reached their target heart rate, or adequate information is obtained. Any symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness, should be reported.

When the procedure is complete, sticky patches will be removed and the results will be reviewed and reported to the ordering physician.