Graded Exercise Testing
(GXT or stress test or treadmill test)
What is a treadmill test?
A treadmill test consists of walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike, while being monitored to determine if you have a heart condition. During this test, the level of work will start out very light and increase gradually until either symptoms occur, your physician has enough information to make a diagnosis, or you reach a predetermined heart rate.
Are there any special preparation?
There is one important preparation that you need to take, before your graded exercise test. Ask your doctor if there are any medicine he or she does not want you to take prior to the test
What is a Cardiolite Stress Test?
In addition to the regular portion of the stress test, your doctor may also want a scan of your heart using Cardiolite. Cardiolite is a radioactive material, which is cleared from your body naturally. The amount of radiation you will be exposed to, is equal to an X-ray or CAT Scan. Cardiolite will allow the physician to compare the blood flow to the heart during rest and after the stress test. The first injection of Cardiolite will be given approximately 11/2 hours before your stress test. During this time, a small needle will be inserted into a vein (probably in your arm) and you will be given a small amount of Cardiolite. Following this, you will be placed under a camera for pictures to be taken of your heart. This will last for about 25 minutes. The same process will be followed after the stress test is completed.
Are there any further instructions?
If you are having a Cardiolite Scan, do not eat, drink caffeinated beverages, or smoke
or chew tobacco, 6 hours prior to the test.
How does the heart monitor work?
Ten (10) patches will be placed on different spots of your chest. These patches will be
connected to a machine, which will allow the physician to monitor your heart.