Exercise Tolerance Test (ETT)
Stress tests are used to check for abnormal blood flow to the heart due to blocked heart arteries, and to check the heart’s response to exercise. The most common type of stress test involves walking on a treadmill to increase heart rate and blood pressure. However, if you are not able to walk on a treadmill, a “chemical stress test” can be used instead (see “Pharmacologic Myocardial Perfusion Tests” below). Stress tests provide information that may not be apparent on a resting electrocardiogram. Results of a stress test may help explain symptoms that you have reported to your physician.
How to Prepare for the Test
The test takes approximately one hour from start to finish, including preparation time. Wear (or bring) comfortable clothes and walking shoes. Eat a light meal before the test (do not fast) and take your usual medications unless otherwise directed by your physician. Be sure to drink sufficient water before the test so that you will be well hydrated. A shower and towels are available if you would like to shower afterwards.