The treadmill test in cardiology is an important and commonly used procedure for stress testing. A cardiovascular exercise stress test like the treadmill test is one of the central features in diagnosis and prognosis of heart disease and cardiovascular problems, particularly for coronary artery disease. If you are not familiar with the concept of a stress test then it would suffice to say that this helps to check the function of the heart under physical stress.
Despite the fact that a patient suffers from coronary artery blockages he or she may experience almost no visible symptoms and may also display a rather normal or unchanged EKG when at rest. Physical exertion or rather controlled and supervised physical exertion through a stress test like the treadmill test in cardiology can unmask any of the warning signs by means of exposure to stress. During physical exertion there is a dilation of the coronary arteries that occurs, opening up and increasing the blood flow, which is severely reduced in the case of a patient with an artery blockage. There is unequal dilation with normal arteries supplying a better blood flow to the heart muscle as compared to narrowed or blocked arteries that demonstrate a reduced blood flow. This reduced blood flow causes the muscle that is deprived of a fresh blood flow to display symptoms of oxygen deprivation and manifests in symptoms such as chest discomfort or shortness of breath. At such a time the EKG readings would also demonstrate characteristic abnormalities. While the treadmill test in cardiology is the most routinely used method of stress testing, some laboratories may also use a stationary bicycle.
The treadmill test in cardiology may be ordered under a number of circumstances that could include the following:
The treadmill test in cardiology and other stress tests are widely used both in the diagnosis and in rehabilitation plans. This test helps doctors gage the heart condition of a patient and can be useful in making a diagnosis, but it is also very useful post treatment and often following heart surgery. It also helps measure the progress and effectiveness of treatment, particularly when medications are being used to dissolve blockages.More articles from the Medical Tests Category