Effort Test

The effort test is called the effort test to force the heart to take the EKG taken at rest. The effort test is performed to determine whether the patient has an obstructive cardiovascular disease. By making the patient exert effort, the heart is brought to a certain beat rate and it is observed whether there is a problem in the blood flow. Sometimes, an effort test can be done to objectively determine the patient’s activity level.

The effort test is performed on a treadmill or bicycle. Heart rate is increased by walking on a rotating belt or pedaling on a bicycle. The speed and incline are adjusted by the physician, and the heart is fatigued. During this time, the ECG recordings taken are analyzed. Complaints such as blood pressure, pulse changes, chest pain and shortness of breath during exercise are recorded.

Who Is The Effort Test Performed?

The effort test is mostly used in the diagnosis of cardiovascular occlusion and in the follow-up of diagnosed patients. On the other hand, it can be preferred in determining the exercise capacity, determining the risk of patients who have had a heart attack, investigating the response of blood pressure to exercise, examining the rhythm disorders that may occur with exercise, and investigating the causes of fainting.

How is the Stress Test Done?

Food should not be taken up to 2 hours before the exercise test. Smoking should not be allowed during this period. It is recommended to wear comfortable clothes for the test to pass comfortably. Sneakers, tracksuits or shorts will be appropriate. Male patients should have a chest shave. It may be necessary to discontinue some heart or blood pressure medications before the exercise test. The doctor will decide this. High blood pressure prevents the exercise test. In such a case, your doctor may tell you to take your blood pressure medication on the day of the test.

After the preparations are made, the effort test is started. After the evaluation of the ECG taken in the resting state, it is decided whether or not to perform the exercise test. First, electrodes are attached to the patient’s chest to record the ECG. At the beginning of the test, slow and slightly inclined movements (if performed on a treadmill) are performed. Then the speed and incline are increased at certain intervals. The goal is to put more and more weight on the heart and continue until it reaches 85 percent of maximum heart rate. Heart rhythm is constantly monitored on the screen and blood pressure is measured at each level. The duration of the effort test is 8-10 minutes on average.

If complaints such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, palpitation, fatigue, leg pain occur during the test, it should be reported.

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