Stress Electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test that checks for changes in your heart rhythm during exercise. Some ECG abnormalities can be seen only during exercise or while symptoms are present. This test is sometimes called a “stress test” or a “treadmill test.” During stress test, you walk on a treadmill machine.
An exercise ECG translates the heart’s electrical activity into line tracings on paper. The spikes and dips in the line tracings are called waves.
A resting ECG is always done before a stress ECG test, and results of the resting ECG are compared to the results of the exercise ECG.
Some indications to do exercise ECG:
- Finding the cause of chest pain or pressure.
- Helping to decide on the best treatment for a person with angina.
- Check exercise capacity after heart attack or heart surgery.
- Finding the cause of symptoms that occur during exercise or activity, such as dizziness, fainting, or rapid, irregular heartbeats (palpitations).
- Check for a blockage or narrowing of an artery after a medical procedure, such as angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery, especially if the person has chest pain or other symptoms.
- To check how well medicine or other treatment for angina or an irregular heartbeat is working.
- Help you make decisions about starting an exercise program if you have been inactive for a number of years and have an increased chance of having heart disease.