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Exercise Testing

An exercise or stress test allows the physician to observe how the patient's heart works during exercise.

Among the many potential indications for stress testing include:

  • In patients with known and potentially serious heart disease, we can observe how the patient's heart rate, heart rhythm, and blood pressure are affected by exercise.
  • In patients with exercise-related symptoms (e.g., chest pain, palpitations, fainting, or trouble breathing), such testing may provide clues to diagnosis of an important heart problem.

A technologist will place several electrodes (sticky patches) on the child's chest to monitor the heart rhythm. A blood pressure cuff will be placed around the patient's arm to allow blood pressure to be taken frequently throughout the test. The child will then begin to walk on an exercise treadmill. The speed and incline of the treadmill will gradually increase throughout the test.

At the end of the test, the treadmill will slowly decrease in speed and return to a flat position until it comes to a complete stop. It usually takes one hour for the test including preparation, with the exercise part of the test taking 10-15 minutes.

A cardiologist will be present during the entire test.