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Electrocardiogram (ECG)
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Cardiac Services

What is a Electrocardiogram (ECG)?

A heart stress test, sometimes referred to as a cardiac exercise test, is commonly used to find out how your heart reacts during exercise. A heart stress test can use either ECG technology to measure the electrical activity in your heart, or an echocardiogram which uses soundwaves to produce moving images of the heart. When we exercise, our bodies need more oxygen and so the heart has to work much harder to pump enough blood around the body. A heart stress test is commonly used to understand how well your heart can perform that task, whether your heart is receiving a good enough supply to function effectively, and whether you suffer any adverse symptoms while performing physical activity. It usually takes up to one hour.

How does it work?

A heart stress test works by assessing your response to increased physical activity and is usually performed using a treadmill or exercise bike. Patients are stepped through a personalised program of physical activity while attached to a recording machine in order to understand how the heart behaves. The heart stress test will measure your blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels and electrical activity. It will also compare your performance relative to your age group and gender. An echocardiogram may be used instead of an ECG if more details are required, such as how the blood flows through your heart and how well your heart muscle functions. 

Why do I need it?

An exercise stress test has many functions and is usually recommended if you have experienced signs or symptoms of heart disease such as dizziness, light headedness, shortness of breath, unexplained fainting or changes in heart rhythm. If you have recently undergone any type of heart surgery such as coronary angioplasty, stenting or cardiac bypass surgery, your doctor may recommend a heart stress test to see how well the surgery has performed and to create a safe exercise plan. The heart stress test is a common way to diagnose possible heart disease and determine any level of potential risk.

What does a Heart stress test show?

The heart stress test is a useful way to detect common heart problems such as:

A heart stress test may also guide treatment decisions, check the effectiveness of certain procedures, or determine the severity of a diagnosed heart condition

What's next?

If you have been experiencing heart-related symptoms, book an appointment with our cardiac services specialist today.

Have questions?

Unsure about your next steps? Get in touch today, we’re here to help.

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