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Exercise Stress Test

An exercise stress test records the electrical activity of the heart at rest, during exercise and after exercise. It allows the doctor to see how a patient's heart is performing during physical activity and, also to identify possible heart complications during exercise. This test is performed by a technician who will place small disks or electrodes on the patient's chest and a blood pressure cuff around their arm. These electrodes are attached to wires or leads that are connected to the electrocardiogram machine. While hooked up to the machine, the patient is required to walk on a treadmill. Every two to three minutes, the technician will increase the speed and incline causing the patient to work harder. By doing this test, the doctor or technician is able to see any changes in the heart's electrical pattern and blood pressure levels, which may indicate that the heart may not be receiving enough oxygen.

This test takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.