DESCRIPTION Excercise treadmill test method of observing heart electrical activity (ECG) and measuring arterial blood pressure during physical exercise. On the patient’s chest, the electrodes, the wire connected to the device, are monitored and the ECG is monitored. We put the bracelet on the arm of the patient, and on several occasions during the test we measure the arterial pressure.
The second type of test is on a bicycle, which gradually accelerates the pedal turning, which requires even greater effort. By investing increasing efforts, the heart rate (pulse rate) increases up to the predetermined age and sex boundary.
The test is stopped at maximum heart rate, extremely high readings of the arterial blood pressure, at subjective discomfort the patient reports, such as pain in the chest, and at the changes in the ECG indicating a reduced supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. Such changes indicate a possible narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels that feed the heart muscle (coronary arteries), in which case we refer the patient to further hospital workup (coronarography).
DURATION The examination lasts 45-60 minutes.
ADVICE It is most important that you feel comfortable in your body and clothes. Before the test, do avoid big meals, avoid alcohol, cigarettes and bigger quantities of beverages. Put on sports clothes, no jewellery (preferably cotton clothes).
In our Polyclinic it is possible to make different varieties of excercise testing such as: ergometry, stress echocardiography and ergospirometry.
In addition to standard spirometry, ergospirometry is used to monitor the function of the lungs and metabolic changes in the body during an incremental exercise test. The parameters observed here are assessment of the heart and lung function ranges (cardiopulmonary functional capacity), assessment of the maximum aerobic capacity, assessment of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide elimination, direct measurement of maximum oxygen consumption per time unit (functional capacity).
By examination and analysis of all these parameters, we come to a conclusion about the patient’s condition, namely about his/her cardiac, pulmonary and metabolic functions. Ergospirometry testing (CPET) is particularly recommendable in:
- assessment of dyspnoea on exertion
- assessment of risk of and prognosis for cardiac insufficiency
- assessment of the significance of heart failure
- monitoring the results of treatment with medication and surgical procedures
- assessment of fitness for work
In addition to standard ergometry, before and after the exercise the patient is made echocardiogram and the images are later analysed using tissue Doppler and strain-rate imaging, which may indirectly indicate disorders in the function of the heart muscle that is, a reduced blood supply to the heart muscle. The test is more accurate than the classic ergometry, and is used in borderline findings of ergometry and in patients who already have confirmed changes in coronary arteries (patients with post-myocardial infarctions, inserted stents or by-pass surgeries). It is non-invasive, without radiation and safe for the patient. Since it requires more time than the sole ergometry, it lasts longer and requires subsequent analysis, therefore, we often send the results to the patient later by mail/electronic mail.