Exercise ECG - Exercise Tolerance Test

An exercise ECG or exercise tolerance test is performed to determine the response of the heart and circulation to the physical stress of exercise.

In this testthe patientrides a stationary bicycle or walks on a treadmill whilst attached to an ECG machine. Regular ECG recordings and blood pressure recordings are made and the speed and incline of the treadmill are increased according to a predetermined protocol.

The test is performed by a technician, nurseor doctorand it is important toindentify any symptoms experienced by the patient during or immediately after the test.The test is completed when a target heart rate is achieved but may be stopped if the patient experiences severe symptoms, is too fatigued to continue, or if the recordings show a positive test.

The main reason for performing an exercise ECG is to determine whether the heart tracings show strain due to angina, which results from narrowings or blockages in the coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood and oxygen.


Treadmill exercise tolerance test