Treadmill and Stress Echo/Testing

What is a Cardiac Stress Test?

Cardiac stress test is a test used to measure the heart's ability to respond to stress.  Your child will have stickers applied to their chest and connected to an electrocardiogram (ECG / EKG) for monitoring during exercise.  

The test will start off with walking on a treadmill and then slowly the speed and steepness will increase over time with monitoring of the heart rhythm and blood pressure.  

The test is stopped when the child feels they can no longer continue or if symptoms develop.  

Why might my child need a Exercise Stress Test?

Symptoms that are brought on by exercise or stress are one of the most common reasons.  We are attempting to bring out those symptoms during the test so we can identify if they are due to the heart.  

Some abnormalities on EKG may either appear or disappear at higher heart rates.  By identifying how stress effects the heart's rhythm we can determine how significant these EKG findings are.  

Certain structural abnoramlities of the heart require stress testing to identify if a person is at a high or low risk for complications.  

Why might my child need a Stress Echocardiogram?

A stress echocardiogram is an additional step that can be taken to better assess the heart under stress.  The is involves doing an echocadiogram (ultrasound of the heart) before and after the Exercise Stress Test (discussed above).  This allows us to look at how the walls of the heart move during exercise and see if there is any obstruction to blood moving through the heart.