You know what the stress test?

Written by: Dr. José Luis Palma Gámiz
Edited by: Top Doctors®

In Spain 30,000 sudden deaths occur annually. Many could be avoided by performing a stress test to all people that start in any sport.


What is the test?

The stress test or treadmill test is carrying out an intense and fast exercise, performed on treadmill or stationary bicycle while continuously monitors the electrocardiogram and blood pressure.

It is a poorly defined diagnostic test is performed to detect various cardiac conditions, and most especially, angina, in patients with chest pain cause. With the stress test you try to play chest pain subjecting the heart to intense physical exertion, while electrocardiographic abnormalities which until then had been absent at rest are sought.

Besides helping the correct diagnosis, the stress test is useful in assessing the prognosis in patients with already known coronary disease, and to assess the effect of treatment. It can also be used to determine the appropriate level of physical exertion for each person.


Applications stress testing

brokerage The exercise test tends to play every effort, even reaching the threshold of fatigue or the maximum level of resistance. During the test, the doctor continuously monitors the patient's cardiovascular parameters and informs him of any symptoms you may experience as chest pain, dizziness, palpitations, headache, excessive shortness of breath or extreme fatigue.

It is very important to try to make the maximum effort to ensure that the results are reliable. The effort depends on a chord presets to gender, age and body mass index. Based on this, a pre-set heart rate is calculated by subtracting 220 minus age. When 85% of said heart rate is achieved the test may be terminated and valid.

The stress test has multiple applications ranging from early diagnosis of coronary heart disease, to know its history and response to certain treatments. It also provides detailed information on the progress of patients in cardiac rehabilitation, detecting possible hidden transient arrhythmias or heart block. It is a test that indicates the level of adaptation to the effort both professional athletes and amateurs.


Preparation for stress test

The patient should wear lightweight clothing and comfortable shoes, preferably sneakers. In order to avoid hypoglycaemia not have to do the stress test after a meal (2-3 hours) or after prolonged fasting.

The patient is connected to a monitor on which the electrocardiogram is displayed in real time and continuously under the strict supervision of a doctor. gently exercise starts, treadmill or static bicycle ergometer. Every two or three minutes the stress level increases according to a standard schedule, increasing the speed of the treadmill and its slope, so that the heart race up to the predetermined maximum heart rate varies depending on age and the gender. Also blood pressure is monitored every two or three minutes.

The test is stopped to attain our goal (85% of the predicted maximum heart rate), or earlier advice if signs and symptoms as chest pain, fatigue, arrhythmias, blockades, changes in blood pressure, etc.


Risk stress testing

Despite the proper choice of technique and its proper performance, undesirable effects may occur and some complications. The risks of stress test are minimal and rare, and include dizziness, falls, irregular heartbeat, etc.. Just in case there was a serious heart disease could present risk of severe arrhythmia, dizziness, severe pain in the chest or other symptoms. According to experts in cardiology , exceptionally some cases of cardiac arrest usually recover with standard resuscitation are reported.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dr. José Luis Palma Gámiz

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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