What should I expect t to happen in an exercise stress test?

Am having a stress test set up by my E.P. I have recently started taking flecanide and so far all is well. I have had no A.F. for 2 weeks and no real side effects. The test is to check for any undiagnosed blocking of arteries and to check that flecanide isn't causing any unwanted heart rhythms. I have been told to take my trainers but no other info has been given. X

12 Replies

  • Normally you are asked to walk on a treadmill with ECG leads attached whilst they watch the trace and record it. Every three minutes or so they raise the speed of the bed until they get your heart rate up to your maximum and hold it there for two or three minutes. Then they slow it all down again and you lie down and rest while they observe the trace a bit more. One very important thing which you must not forget. DON'T STOP WALKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I did in the gym once whilst distracted by an attractive young lady on the treadmill next to me. They had to scrape me off the back wall like something out of Tom and Jerry. LOL


  • Bob, that's so funny - very descriptive! Serves you right for being distracted that way...did she smile nicely at you?? Nice to know AF isn't stopping your natural emotions...:) Bill

  • Thanks Bob. I will try to keep my eyes looking straight ahead. Don't want any nasty accidents!

  • Hi I had my stress test about 6 weeks ago in the US I am assuming they are the same everywhere. My test was the same as Bob described except that they simultaneously raised both my speed and the angle of the treadmill. So it's a big jump every 3 minutes. I could have gone much longer if they had left it flat. I only lasted 4 minutes and that was considered low moderate.

  • Oh I can't wait!

  • hi

    Have had 3 stress tests done, both in UK and Europe. Mine was being done for suspected blocked arteries (instead of doing an angiogram). Mine differed in what is being said by the fact that it was in 2 parts.

    If you are able to walk on a treadmill without problems then they would use a treadmill that both speeds up and tilts upwards during the test at pre determined times. You continue to walk without holding on to the bar in front of you. The test will be stopped if you reach your max heart rate (usually 220bpm - your age), or if it does not go so high, then when you are exhausted, they will push you as far as they can. You are being monitored all of the time with blood pressure cuff and ECG electrodes. All tests are done under the BRUCE protocol to get a standard result

    You will get a score called a METS score that range from 5 (me) at the bottom of the scale to 20 (very fit athlete)

    In my case they did a Nuclear stress test, which has the added step of injecting you with a nuclear tracer liquid when you are exhausted. You are then taken to a simple scanner to take images of the heart and the take up of the liquid which shows up as different colours on the image. You are then left to recover and then a further scan is done look at the heart at rest. But that is normally only done if blocked arteries are suspected.

    Hope that helps, no big deal.

  • Thanks. That is really helpful. Am having it done on 14th January and will let you know how it goes.

  • Having one on the 15th, been told to stop taking bisoprolol for 2 days before.

  • Good luck with yours. I have been told to continue with bisoprolol and flecanide as they want to see what effect they are having on my heart rate. We must swap notes afterwards!

  • Yes, I'll come on here after my test. Going for a nice massage tomorrow ... that's more like it!

  • I had the stress test today and expected to do the treadmill/exercise bike bit but at my hospital they administered a drug to make my heart beat faster, it wasn't the best experience of my life, to be honest it was scary, hard to breathe, weird feeling, I have never exercised that hard in my life ever lol

  • Yuk that doesn't sound very nice!

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