ECG stress test what is about?
The ECG stress test is an instrumental examination during which the electrocardiogram is continuously recorded while the patient performs physical effort under controlled conditions (as opposed to a resting ECG).
Physical activity can take place by pedaling on a medical cycle ergometer, walking on a treadmill or using another kind of precision ergometers, so the heart rate and blood pressure in response to physical activity can be examined. This type of examination can detect abnormalities that cannot be detected with a resting ECG. The reasons why the ECG stress test is performed can be varied, but mainly diagnostic reason. This kind of medical test is very common in sport medicine.
How does the ECG stress test take place?
First, an electrocardiogram is performed at rest and then performing a the physical activity. The physical effort is progressive, so, starting with a low workload that is gradually increased until a certain heart rate is reached in relation to the patient’s age, sex and condition. Immediately after the most intense phase of the test is the recovery phase during which the motion slows down so that the heart rate and blood pressure return to normal values as soon as possible. The test takes 20 to 30 minutes, in which the specialist keeps a constant eye on the patient.
what is the Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (CPET
Compared with the traditional stress test, the Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing allows for more detailed diagnostic information and also allows for the definition of prognosis in patients with specific diseases such as chronic heart failure and primary pulmonary hypertension. The CPET test therefore, in addition to cardiological and blood pressure investigation, assesses and measures a wide scale of respiratory values such as ventilation, oxygen consumption, and carbon dioxide production. These are also associated with metabolic assessment.