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Exercise Tolerance Test

An Exercise Tolerance Test (ETT) is an Electrocardiogram (ECG) that is recorded while you are exercising.

The test assesses how well your heart works when you are active and your heart has to work harder.

When you are active, your heart needs more blood and oxygen.

This test will show if there is a lack of blood through the arteries that supply the heart.

What to Expect

The duration of the test is usually between 2-15 minutes. The value of the test is much greater if you try to walk for as long as you can.

  • You will be required to undress from the waist upwards. Gowns will be available on request
  • Ten small adhesive patched (electrodes) are placed onto your chest, which are then connected to wires
  • Your blood pressure will be taken and you will be asked to walk on the treadmill
  • The test will begin at an easy pace, with a small incline
  • The pace and incline is gradually increased
  • The test will be completed when enough information has been obtained, this is usually a target heart rate and time, which are determined by your age

Before the Test

  • Wear light comfortable clothing and shoes
  • Do not eat a heavy meal before the test
  • In some cases, patients using beta-blockers may be advised to stop taking them for a day or two before
  • Please ensure you have a copy of your current medication to hand
  • A Clinical Physiologist or assistant will be performing the test

The Results

You will be given an informal result after the test, with any recommendations for further treatment.

All test results are sent to the person who referred you, for example your GP, with details of what the test results show and any treatment required.