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Treadmill Stress Echocardiography

What is a stress echocardiogram? The stress echocardiogram measures the function of the heart, lungs and blood vessels. It is done to help diagnose blocked arteries in the heart (coronary artery disease) and also provide specific information about valvular disease and pressure in the heart and lungs.

What you will need to be scheduled for a 24 Hour Ambulatory Holter Monitoring:

  • A referral letter from your GP
  • Medicare Card

Before the test

Please wear comfortable and loose clothing, sports shoes, or flat-soled walking shoes. Allow approximately 30-40 minutes for this test. Avoid eating or drinking heavily for 2 hours prior to this test to prevent discomfort when exercising. Patients will be asked to cease beta blocker medication (e.g. metoprolol, atenolol, sotalol), calcium channel blockers (e.g. diltiazem, verapamil) and digoxin 48 hours prior to exercise test, unless otherwise directed by the referring doctor.


Drug name    Common brand names

Atenolol          Anselol, Noten, Tenolten, Tenormin, Tensig

Bisoprolol       Beprol, Bicard, Bicor, Biso, Bispro

Carvedilol       Dicarz, Dilasig, Dilatrend, Vedilol, Volirop

Labetalol         Presolol, Trandate

Metoprolol      Betaloc, Lopresor, Metatar, Metrol, Metrol-XL, Minax. Mistrom, Toprol

Nebivolol        Nebilet,

Oxprenolol      Corbeton,

Pindolol          Barbloc, Visken

Propranolol     Deralin, Inderal

Sotalol            Cardol, Solavert, Sotacor

Calcium channel blockers

Drug name    Common brand names

Diltiazem        Cardizem, Coras, Diltahexal, Dilzem, Vasocardol

Felodipine      Felodil, Felodur, Fendex, Plendil, Triasyn

Lercanidipine  Ledip, Lercadip, Lercan, Zan-Extra, Zanidip, Zircol

Nimodipine     Nimotop

Verapamil       Anpec, Cordilox, Isoptin, Tarka, Veracaps


Digoxin           Digibind, DigiFab, Lanoxin, Lanoxin-PG, Sigmaxin, Sigmaxin-PG

Flecainide       Tambocor

Amiodarone    Cordarone, Pacerone


How is the test done?

Most people will walk on a treadmill. Slowly (about every 3 minutes), you will be asked to walk faster and on an incline. It is like being asked to walk fast or jog up a hill.

In most cases, you will need to walk or pedal for around 5 to 15 minutes, depending on your level of fitness and your age. Your doctor will ask you to stop:

  • When your heart is beating at the target rate
  • When you are too tired to continue
  • If you are having chest pain or a change in your blood pressure that worries the provider administering the test

What Are the Risks?

The risks are very low. Health care professionals will monitor you during the entire procedure.

Rare complications include:

  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Heart attack