What is a Cardiac Stress Test?

A cardiac stress test is an EKG test that can show the effect of increased workload on your heart. The test may involve an activity that increases the heart rate like walking on a treadmill or medicine to achieve the stress on the heart. It may be accompanied by echocardiography both before and after the exercise so that structural differences can be compared.


Why have I been asked to get a Stress Test done?

A cardiac stress test  is performed to:
  • Diagnose coronary heart disease (CHD) and the presence of narrow arteries.
  • Examine chest pain or difficulty in breathing and determine any connection with a heart problem.
  • Know the limit of your body to exercise if you are planning to join a cardiac rehabilitation program or start an exercise program.
  • Assess the effectiveness of cardiac treatment.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your heart medications 
  • Evaluate irregular heartbeats


Names of previous reports/scans required?

  • X-ray of the chest
  • ECG report
  • Angiography details and report
  • Angioplasty details and report


How long is the procedure for?

  • Total time – 1 hr 
  • Test time- 30-45 mins


Can I walk in for a Stress & 2D Echo test without prior appointment?

  •  Yes  (Confirm by calling on 8869906990 before arriving at the centre)


 History of allergy?



Preparing for the Stress Test:

  • Avoid heavy food just before the test.
  • Get comfortable clothes and shoes to walk on the treadmill or cycle.
  • Ask your doctor if you need to stop taking any medicine before the tests.
  • If you’re asthmatic, get your inhaler.
  • Shaving the chest if recommended so that the electrodes stick to your chest properly during the test.


How is the stress test done?

  • The electrodes are attached on the chest to monitor your heart rate.
  • You will have to walk slowly on the treadmill at first
  • If you’re unable to walk, a medicine called dobutamine is given to induce the effects of exercise.
  • The treadmill is set in an upward slant and the speed will keep on increasing to test your heart rate and heart capacity 
  • You may be asked to breathe into a tube for a couple of minutes.
  • You can stop the test at any time if you are not able to continue.
  • If you’re comfortable, you are asked to continue till you reach a particular target heart rate.
  • After the exercise your heart will be monitored as you stand still, sit and lie down for a while. Your blood pressure will also be checked.


What are the risks of a stress test?

If you share your medical history properly before the test, we take care to see that there are no untoward incidents. However, depending on your condition, you could have some chest pain and/or irregular heartbeats, light headedness, etc. It could also set off an asthmatic attack. So, we recommend you carry your inhaler if asthmatic.
If dobutamine is given, you could experience irregular heartbeats for a few minutes.
However, you need not worry about any of these risks as you will be under medical supervision till you are back to normal.