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A cardiac stress test or stress electrocardiogram (stress ECG) measures your heart's activity when exposed to stress or exercise
Your heart's electrical system
Your heart pumps blood around your body with every beat, sending the necessary oxygen and nutrients to the right parts of your body to keep you alive. To pump your blood properly, your heart relies on a network of cells, often referred to as the heart's electrical system. An ECG can detect the signals produced by your heart each time it beats to monitor the rhythm of your heart. It usually shows your heart rhythm and electrical activity as a graph displayed electronically or printed on paper.
At Circle Health Group, we have a large network of multidisciplinary healthcare professionals, including consultant cardiologists and cardiac physiologists, who can perform cardiac stress testing. To find out more, you can call a member of our advisory team on 0141 300 5009, or book a consultation with a specialist online.
If you are having the test as part of an ongoing treatment plan, these tests may be included in your fixed-price package.
*This is just a guide price for patients who are paying for their own treatment. The actual cost will be confirmed to you before you have the test.
An electrocardiogram is a test used to monitor your heart's rhythm and electrical activity through electrodes (these are small sticky pads that are attached to your chest for the test). An echocardiogram looks at the structure and functioning of your heart, using an ultrasound.
If you do experience any of the above symptoms when you are resting, exercising, or both, a cardiac stress test could determine why. Your physiologist or consultant might offer the test if they detect abnormalities in a regular echocardiogram. This is to help understand the cause of your symptoms and whether they are triggered by physical activity.
Before the test begins, your consultant or physiologist will attach several sticky sensors (known as electrodes) to your chest. You will be required to remove the upper half of your clothing for this, and your chest might be cleaned or shaved to ensure the electrodes stick properly. These electrodes are connected to an ECG recording machine that records the electrical rhythm of your heart. This is most commonly recorded as an electronic graph, but can also be printed onto a piece of paper.
You will be asked to exercise on a treadmill or exercise bike while the test is being performed. The intensity of this exercise routine will vary as the test goes on, so that we can monitor your heart under different levels of exertion. If you cannot exercise for a stress test due to mobility issues, you might be offered a medication that makes your heart work harder for a short period of time instead. This is called dobutamine. Speak with your consultant about whether this is the right option for you.
If you are having medication instead of exercising for your stress test, this will be administered with an injection. There is no preparation needed for this, but your consultant will ensure you feel ready to have the injection.
Your physiologist will need around an hour to analyse your results after your test. Your consultant will confirm their analysis and your diagnosis. You will meet with your consultant after the test to discuss your results and potential treatment plan if you need one.
In some cases, you might need to wait a day or two before getting your results, but this depends on your individual circumstances.
If you would like to learn more about this procedure, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.