Stress Testing: Exercise and Pharmacological


Exercise electrocardiogram, graded exercise tolerance test, cardiac stress testing, nuclear stress testing, stress testing, treadmill test.

To assess cardiac function in relation to increased workload, evidenced by dysrhythmia or pain during exercise.

Patient Preparation
Instruct the patient to fast, restrict fluids (especially those containing caffeine), and abstain from the use of tobacco products for 4 to 6 hr prior to the procedure. Instruct the patient to withhold medications for 24 hr before the test, as ordered by the health-care provider (HCP). Protocols vary depending on the type of test, and in general, protocols may vary among facilities. The patient should be instructed to wear comfortable shoes and clothing for the exercise stress test.

Normal Findings

  • Normal heart rate during physical exercise. Heart rate and systolic blood pressure rise in direct proportion to workload and to metabolic oxygen demand, which is based on age and exercise protocol up to 85% of the maximum estimated heart rate. Normal resting heart rate for adults is between 60 and 100 beats/min. Normal blood pressure is a systolic and diastolic pressure of less than 120/80.
      Successful Completion
    • Maximum effort has been achieved
    • Maximum heart rate under stress is attained

Critical Findings and Potential Interventions

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