Treadmill Test (also known as TMT, Stress Test,Cardiac SPECT, Myocardial Perfusion SPECT, Thallium StresTest, and Stress Perfusion Test) is a physical examination mechanism devised to test the endurance of your heart under strenuous conditions, such as during intense physical activity, and detect any early signals of a cardiac complication (such as heart attack) by measuring the blood flow to the heart during stress as well as at rest. Output of the test is typically in the form of an Output ECG Trace, but images can also be taken if so required by the advising Doctor. Generally, a Doctor will prescribe you undergo the stress test if:

  • You have recently started experiencing chest pain. Your Doctor will advise TMT to check for coronary artery disease or anycontraction in the arteries
  • Your angina is getting worse, or you recently had a heart attack, or an angioplasty, or a CABG procedure
  • You are starting anew exercise routine,and have certain cardiac risk factors related
  • You are at risk of a heart valve problem, such as aortic valve or mitral valve stenosis
  • You are at risk for arrhythmia and it is needed to check your heart rhythm during exercise
  • You have unexplained fatigue and shortness of breath
  • You have borderline hypertension and an evaluation of blood pressure response to exercise is needed

Of course, there may be other reasons as well why you may have to undergo this test. But no matter the reason, since the test involves going through some intense physical routine, you need to take certain precautions before appearing for the test. These precautions are generally advised by the health center in advance, and can include following:

  • Avoid consuming caffeinated beverage and food products such as chocolate, soda, tea, coffee etc. for at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment.
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything, except water, since 3 hours before your scheduled appointment.
  • If you have been advised to skip a meal, make sure to consult with your Doctor if you have diabetes, explaining your medications and inquiring about the safety of skipping a meal.
  • If you are prone to asthmatic attacks or generally use an inhaler, bring it to the appointment.
  • You may also have to stop taking any Beta Blockers and Calcium Channel Blockers before your exam. Consult your Doctor on this.
  • You should continue taking your usual medication. Consult your doctor on this. It may also be a good idea to bring all of your medications with you in the original bottles.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing, and shoes that are suitable for a light workout session. Also, men may have to shave their chest if they have excessive body hair.

The entire procedure from release sign-off to end-of-observation can take anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes, but the actual exercise is typically 10 to minutes. During the test, you can roughly expect following sequence of events:

  • A stress lab technician place electrodes on 10 specific areas on your chest, and attach these electrodes to an electrocardiograph (EKG) machine to charts your heart’s functioning during the test
  • Your blood pressure, resting heart rate, and resting EKG will be taken before you start the test
  • You will be asked to start walking on the treadmill, and the lab attendant will gradually increase the speed and inclination of the machine. You are expected to continue exercising until you are exhausted or the test is over
  • The lab attendant will also periodically inquire after you, and it is advisable to tell them of any discomfort in arm, chest, or jaw. Being a little out of breath is expected, but if you feel dizzy or lightheaded, please report that immediately to the attendant
  • The lab attendant will closely observe the EKG monitor for any signs that suggest the test should be stopped

Once the test is over, it is advisable that you walk around slowly for a few minutes to cool down. Your lab attendant may choose to continue monitoring your heart rate, blood pressure and EKG till they return to normal levels. If your Doctor has advised you to undergo a stress test, call us today at 8008104199 or write to us at info@simhapurihospitals.com to book your appointment!

 

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