What happens during a stress test?

An exercise stress test shows how your heart handles strenuous physical activity. Also referred to as an exercise electrocardiogram (ECG), and usually completed on a treadmill, the stress test is a great way for a cardiologist to monitor your heart rhythm, blood pressure, and breathing to ensure your heart is functioning properly.

During a stress test, your heart will continue to pump harder and faster as you run on the treadmill. This can reveal blood flow problems within your heart.

An exercise stress test is usually recommended if you show signs or symptoms of heart disease or an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia). This type of test may also guide treatment decisions, or determine the severity of a diagnosed heart condition.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

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