Stress testing

Stress testing

During cycloergometry we monitor the ECG while the patient is physically active. Electrocardiogram (ECG) is an electrical recording of the heart activity in the form of a graph. The ECG produces a pattern reflecting the paths of electrical stimuli in the heart.

Basic information about the examination

Location of stress testing examination

  • Bled | Pod skalo 4, 4260 Bled
Appointment - self pay

Frequently asked questions


How does stress testing work?

ECG recording during exercise is obtained in the same manner as the basic ECG at rest. The only difference is that the subject is physically active now. For this purpose we utilize a treadmill. The intensity of the performed work on the treadmill is measured in metabolic equivalents (METs).

Prior to the exercise test, we record an ECG at rest. Then the patient starts exercising by walking on a treadmill. Every three minutes the workload is increased to a higher level (speed and incline of the treadmill). During the test we constantly monitor the ECG and measure the blood pressure at every stage. Both variables continue to be measured for approximately 6 minutes after the end of the test.
We abandon the test if any of the following occurs:

  • changes in the ECG graph or a heart rhythm disorder,
  • characteristic chest pain (angina pectoris)
  • an excessive elevation of blood pressure,
  • drop in blood pressure during the exercise,
  • difficulty breathing, dizziness,
  • muscular fatigue,
  • maximal heart rate regardless of age.

The purpose of the stress test is to achieve maximum heart rate and the estimated workload depending on the age, weight and gender of the tested subject, because only in this case we can conclude in a relatively reliable manner that no serious heart disease is present.

In the examples below exercise stress testing should not be carried out:

  • a fresh heart attack - at least 2 weeks must pass,
  • in severely high blood pressure at rest,
  • in fresh thrombosis or embolism (fresh vessel blockage caused by blood clots),
  • in severe heart failure.

In very rare cases it can lead to severe heart failure, severe heart arrhythmias or a heart attack.

Exercise stress test is performed to measure fitness of the patient and the corresponding cardiovascular changes (ergometry).

One option is stress echocardiography. This is an ultrasound observation of the heart function changes under exercise stress.

Disturbed blood flow in the heart muscle may be shown by scintigraphy of the heart and cardiac catheterization.

A 24-hour ECG measurement can reveal arrhythmias during physical exertion, but the said the examination is not standardized.

  • Any atherosclerosis of heart vessels, and consequently, coronary heart disease, which presents itself with angina pectoris (Angina pectoris is the main symptom of the disease in heart vessel disease. Angina is experienced as a pressure, or a pressuring chest pain under the sternum, which spreads into the left shoulder or arm, or also as a crushing pain in the xiphoid or neck. This kind of pain may occur during physical exertion and subsides after the cessation of strain.).
  • Hypertension during cycloergometry.
  • Arrhythmias during cycloergometry.
  • We assess the effectiveness of medications used to treat high blood pressure or coronary artery disease.
  • We estimate the degree of possible load after myocardial infarction or cardiac surgery.
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