An Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) if one of the simplest and fastest procedures used to evaluated the heart. Electrodes (small, plastic, patches) are placed at certain locations on the chest, arms and legs. When the electrodes are connected to and ECG machine by lead wires, the electrical activity of the heart is measure, interpreted and printed out for the physicians information and further interpretations.
An exercise ECG is performed to assess the hearts response to stressor exercise. The ECG is monitored while a person is exercising on a treatmillor stationary bike.
An ECG tracing will be taken at certain points during the test in order to compare the effects of increasing stress on the heart. Periodically, the incline and treatmill speed will be increased in order to make exercise more difficult for the person being tested.
If the person is riding a bycicle, he/she will pedal faster against increased resistance. In either circumstance, the person will exercise untill reaching a target heart rate (based on age and physical status) or until unable to continue due to fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain or oder symptoms.