The stress test is a non-invasive investigation that involves recording the electrocardiogram and measuring the blood pressure while the patient is traveling on a treadmill, according to a predetermined protocol, which implies the gradual increase of the intensity of the effort, depending on the physical condition of the patient and the associated comorbidities.
The stress test stops when the theoretical maximum heart rate is reached, the patient experiences chest pain, difficulty breathing or dizziness, no longer increases the effort, even if no ECG changes have occurred, electrocardiogram changes or sustained arrhythmias appear, on the electrocardiogram arterial growth is exaggerated.
Indications of the stress test:
- Diagnosis and stratification of risk in patients with ischemic heart disease
- Determining the severity of ischemic heart disease when the diagnosis is established
- Diagnosis of stress-induced symptomatic and recurrent arrhythmias
- Follow-up of patients who have benefited from various treatment methods: drug, percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (dilation) with or without stent mounting, aortocoronary bypass
- Evaluation of the stress response in hypertensive patients wishing to make important efforts
- Cardiologic health assessment for athletes, pilots, drivers, police officers, military officers
Contraindications of the effort sample:
- Severe cardiac or other organ disorders: unstable angina, acute myocardial infarction, tight aortic stenosis, therapeutically uncontrolled severe hypertension, anemia, acute infections, etc.
- When the electrocardiogram at rest shows changes that do not allow the interpretation of the test (for example in the left branch block)
- When the patient is unable to exert effort (peripheral arteriopathy, osteoarthritis, walking disorders, etc.).
Preparing the patient to perform the stress test:
Patients are advised to be lightly dressed and wear comfortable footwear.
Drug treatment for high blood pressure or angina will not be discontinued before the test. At the doctor's recommendation, when the patient's situation allows, the beta-blocker treatment will be discontinued in the morning of the test or the digital treatment 5 days before the test.