Exercise Tolerance Test

What is Exercise Tolerance Test?

The Exercise Tolerance Test is done while you walk on a treadmill. Electrodes are placed on the chest to monitor the heart's rate and rhythm throughout the rest. The doctor will have the patient walk on a treadmill, gradually increasing the speed and incline. The patient will exercise from a few up to 15 minutes depending upon his level of ability. During the test, an electrocardiogram (ECG) records the electrical activity of your heart. While you are walking on the treadmill, your blood pressure will be checked every few minutes. The ECG is monitored continuously to see if there are any changes in the electrical activity of your heart as you exercise.  You will be instructed to report any symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, fatigue, or dizziness.

 

Is the Exercise Tolerance Test safe?

The exercise test is generally safe. Serious complications are rare (less than one in 10,000 patients). You will be asked to sign a consent form prior to the test to show that these risks have been explained to you.

 

Application of ETT?

The Exercise Tolerance Test is very useful in diagnosing blockages in the vessels that supply blood to the muscles of the heart (Coronary Arteries).  When these arteries are blocked or narrowed, the heart muscle may not be getting enough blood when it is stressed; this often results in chest pain and abnormal ECG changes.  An abnormal heart rate during exercise may also indicate heart problems.