The exercise stress test -- also known as an exercise electrocardiogram, treadmill test, graded exercise test, or stress EKG -- is used most often. It lets your doctor know how your heart responds to being pushed. You'll walk on a treadmill or pedal a stationary bike.The reaction to stress is produced either by exercise or drug stimulation. The stress test compares the circulation of blood in the heart when the patient is resting and when under optimum physical pressure. There are various types of stress tests but the most common of them is the Treadmill stress test. In treadmill test 12 ECG leads are attached to the patient - 8 leads on the chest and 4 leads on the limbs. The patient is then asked to lie down on a couch and ECG readings are recorded in resting phase. Next the patient is asked to stand and breathe faster. This stage is known as Hyperventilation, ECG readings and blood pressure are recorded in this stage. The patient is then asked to start walking on a treadmill. After every 3 minutes the speed and incline of the treadmill increases. This increases the heart rate. The objective of TMT test is to monitor the ECG readings upto 85% of the Maximum Heart Rate (MHR). The MHR for any patient is calculated as 220 minus the age of the patient.
To Determine if there is adequate blood flow to your heart during increasing levels of activity.
Evaluate the effectiveness of your heart medications to control angina and ischemia.
Determine the likelihood of having coronary heart disease and the need for further evaluation.
Check the effectiveness of procedures done to improve blood flow within the heart vessels in people with coronary heart disease.
Identify abnormal heart rhythms.
Help you develop a safe exercise program.
Stress tests are generally considered safe, especially since they are done in a controlled environment under the supervision of a trained medical professional. However if the patient experiences pain in the chest, legs or arms then the test should be aborted.
For men with symptoms like chest pain with activity or unexplained shortness of breath, an abnormal stress test points to a higher risk of CAD. But it's more worrisome in a man who also has risk factors like older age, being overweight, or high cholesterol. If you have symptoms and the test result looks normal, the risk of CAD is lower. But it's important to understand that a "normal" stress test can't rule out the chance that a plaque will later rupture and block an artery—the proverbial tale of the man who passes a stress test with flying colors and then has a heart attack a week later. Stress testing detects arteries that are severely narrowed (70% or more). This is what causes symptoms. Heart attacks often result from lesser blockages that rupture and form clots.
The Cost of a normal TMT test would be approximately INR 2000 to 2500, for a Stress Echo it would be approximately INR 4500 to 5500 and for nuclear stress test the cost would be INR 7000 to 9000.
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