Effort Test

Effort (Treadmill) Test is a commonly used test to diagnose and monitor cardiovascular diseases. Effort test includes having the person exercised in accordance with certain criteria to increase heart’s work load and to investigate whether there are any cardiovascular diseases that might cause decreased supply of heart muscle during this overload. 

It is the most commonly used testing in Cardiology Clinics; 

  • Finding insidious coronary artery diseases
  • Determining whether chest pains are associated with a heart disease
  • Evaluating the persons that are at high risk for cardiology
  • Determining capacity of effort


Following up persons with a history of coronary bypass surgery and stent implantation;

  • Assessing the severity of the disease in patients with a history of infarction
  • Monitoring the blood pressure with effort in persons with hypertension;
  • Investigating the relationship between cardiac arrhythmias and effort.
  • Effort test is widely used because it is easy to apply and affordable and has a very low risk.
  • The effort test is applied under the supervision of a cardiologist and experienced nurse at our hospital.
  • The persons are asked to walk on a treadmill with an increase in speed and slope at every three minutes. In the meanwhile they are constantly monitored for ECG, and their blood pressure is measured.

It is critical to examine the persons by a doctor and particularly evaluate their ECG of resting prior to the effort testing. The test is unable to interpret accurately in patients with a change in ECG. Such patients are advised for appropriate tests.

In addition, it might lead to serious problems to perform an effort test in those with;

  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Advanced Aortic Valve Stenosis 
  • Severe Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy
  • Malign Hypertension 
  • Progressed cardiac arrhythmias
  • Myocarditis or pericarditis


Points to consider prior to an effort test:

  • You should eat light foods 2-3 hours before the test;
  • Have your previous ECG with you 
  • Male patients should shave their chest 
  • Wear comfortable clothes or sports gear
  • Female patients should wear two-part clothes (e.g. a top and a skirt or trousers)

If you are using drugs (e.g. Dideral, Visken, Lopresor, Prent, Nortan, Tensinor, Beloc, Concor, Dilatrend, Digoxin, etc.) affecting cardiac rhythm, you must consult with your doctor prior to the test to have information if you need to discontinue or reduce your drugs.

They who use drugs for hypertension must take their blood pressure reducing drugs other then the forgoing drugs. The blood pressure might elevate rapidly to a maximum level, risking the effort test. Excessively elevated blood pressure might pose a risk.

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The information on this website is not intended to replace any medical advice given by physicians with access to your detailed medical history.