Preparation for exercise ECG testing


Exercise ECG is used to assess how your heart works during exercise. The test is performed by walking on a treadmill. The test consists of several stages, with the effort that the patient must make gradually increasing. An ECG and blood pressure are recorded continuously during the test. The test is performed on doctor's orders.

Recommendations for the test:

  • diagnosis of coronary artery disease,
  • condition after myocardial infarction,
  • determination of pharmacologic treatment in individuals with coronary artery disease, hypertension, and arrhythmias,
  • assessment of the effectiveness of coronary angioplasty,
  • assessment of physical fitness in athletes.

Information before the test:

  • you should arrive for the test with a referral from your doctor,
  • the following results should be presented: resting ECG done no more than 1 month prior to the scheduled test, and echocardiogram, Holter ECG (if done) and recent exercise ECG (if already done),
  • provide information about any medications they are currently taking or any history of heart disease.

Preparation for a test:

  • arrive for the test approx. 2 hours after a light meal,
  • on the day of the test, you should not exercise much, smoke cigarettes or drink strong coffee or tea,
  • on the day of the test, take your regularly prescribed medicines unless otherwise ordered by the referring physician,
  • you may bring gym clothing: soft sole shoes, sweatpants or shorts,
  • men should shave their upper chest,
  • during the test, report any sudden discomfort (e.g. chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness).

After the test:

  • it is advisable to rest for about a dozen minutes in the waiting room outside the office,
  • report the test result to your attending physician.