exercise tolerance test

Also found in: Acronyms.

exercise tolerance test

A measure of cardiovascular or cardiopulmonary fitness, in which people exert themselves while having their heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and electrocardiographic response monitored. Synonym: stress test

Patient care

A treadmill or ergometer is the typical testing device. The amount of exercise to be performed gradually increases over several minutesuntil the patient experiences excessive symptoms (e.g., fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, or claudication) or until objective findings of cardiopulmonary malfunction are demonstrated (e.g., arrhythmias, decreases in blood pressure, or ST-segment changes on the electrocardiogram).

Exercise tests are used most often to help diagnose symptoms or signs suggestive of coronary ischemia. They also are frequently used after patients have suffered a myocardial infarction or an exercise-induced arrhythmia. In these situations, the test may provide patients with important information about their likelihood of suffering further cardiac events or about the efficacy of their medical regimens in controlling their symptoms. When used in the evaluation of patients with cardiovascular disease, exercise testing is often combined with echocardiography or nuclear imaging of the heart to improve the predictive value, sensitivity, and specificity of the assessment.

In sports medicine, exercise testing can be used to help athletes train to achieve peak performance.


Exercise testing is potentially hazardous to patients with unstable angina pectoris, myocardial infarction within the last 48 hours, uncontrolled heart failure, aortic dissection, pulmonary embolism, ataxia or severe arthritic disease. In patients with conditions such as these in which exercise testing could be dangerous, pharmacological stress testing may sometimes be considered instead of exercise testing.
References in periodicals archive ?
Submaximal Clinical Exercise Tolerance Test - Case Example 2 (Linda) Mode: NuStep[TM] Recumbent Cross Trainer Resting HR: 57 AAMHR: 167 * Resting BP: 108/60 85%AAMHR: 142 * Min Workload Watts HR BP RPE 0-2 110-L1 40 75 0.
Objective tests that can help diagnose ischemia are exercise tolerance tests, nuclear studies, stress echoes, or perhaps even CT coronary angiograms.
We would have to get an order from the patient's private physician to do the exercise tolerance test here.
Ninety-two of the patients, selected at random, were given the PTMR procedure and then given an exercise tolerance test 12 months later.
Each subject performed a maximum exercise tolerance test by walking on a treadmill at progressively higher inclines with direct measurement of their maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max).
Comparison of symptom-limited and low level exercise tolerance tests early after myocardial infarction.
It also has an exercise testing laboratory where patients are given exercise tolerance tests and their own individual exercise prescription.
Some of the investigations carried out by the department include exercise tolerance tests, where patients' hearts are monitored while walking on a treadmill, and electrocardiograms (ECG), which record the electrical activity of the heart.
In one typical study conducted at Baylor College of Medicine, only 40 percent of women with chest pains and poor" exercise tolerance tests proved to have heart disease when dye was injected into their coronary arteries; the comparable figure for men is about 88 percent.
Patients wishing to enroll in the FIX-HF-5 trial must have previously received standard heart failure therapy for at least 90 days including use of stable doses of diuretic, ACE-I and beta-blocker for 30 days, can complete exercise tolerance tests, and have an ejection fraction less than or equal to 35%.

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