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An exercise stress test may be used to find out if coronary artery disease is likely, whether exercise could trigger abnormal heart rhythms and to help you develop a safe exercise program.
For the test, you have to walk/run on a treadmill while your ECG and blood pressure are monitored. You'll start the exercise slowly and gradually increase until you feel you can't continue. It's important to tell the lab personnel how you are feeling.
The Patient & Family Education Program at UHN offers valuable resources to help you understand your condition.
Visit our Health Information section to find dedicated resources to help you understand your condition.
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Please bring with you a list of your current medications. This includes prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamin or mineral supplements and herbal remedies.
You must have NOTHING to eat 4 hours before the test but juice or water can still be taken.
Bring with you to your appointment your:
When you arrive at the
Electrophysiology Department or
Nuclear Cardiology Lab, check in at the reception desk. The receptionist will ask you for:
When you check-in, the receptionist will give you a name band to wear. The technologist will call you when it is time for your test. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown.
When you have finished changing, a technologist will take you into the room. They will explain the procedure and ask for your consent.
You will walk on a treadmill while being monitored with ECGs and blood pressure. The treadmill speed and incline will increase every 3 min until you are tired or a target heart rate has been reached. A cardiovascular technologist will be with you for the whole test and can stop the treadmill whenever you ask.
Once the test is completed, the technologist uploads your results to your records. The physician/radiologist will write a report and send it to your doctor.
The technologist can't give you the results during your visit, but once the report is in your health record, your doctor can review it and will give you the results.
An exercise stress test usually takes approximately 1 hour.
We do everything that we can to stay on time. Unfortunately, your appointment may be delayed by unforeseen circumstances. We recommend that you come prepared for delays.
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.