An exercise stress test, or treadmill test, may be ordered by your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
The treadmill test evaluates the amount of stress the heart can handle as you exercise. If plaque has narrowed arteries, the stress test may show electrocardiogram (ECG) changes and you may have symptoms or chest pain/pressure or shortness of breath. These are signs of reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. Abnormal heart rhythms may be triggered and diagnosed by an exercise stress test. An exercise stress test is often used in combination with an echocardiogram or nuclear imaging.
If you are not able to walk on a treadmill, medicine may be used in place of exercise.