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What is an Exercise ECG Stress Test

An Exercise ECG Stress Test measures the performance and capacity of the heart, lungs and blood vessels during exercise to assist the diagnosis of patients with suspected heart diseases. 


Who needs an Exercise ECG Stress Test?

People with the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Palpitation

  • Irregular heart beats

Or with cardiac risk factor such as:

  • Obesity

  • Obstructive sleep apnea and snoring

  • Diabetes

  • Hypertension

  • Family history of heart diseases

Are there any special requirements?

You may be required to stop taking rate-controlling medications such as beta blockers the night before and the morning of your Exercise ECG Stress Test appointment.


How much does an Exercise ECG Stress Test cost?
The test costs $154.60 and is Medicare-rebatable.

What happens during an Exercise ECG Stress test?

A staff member will discuss your medical history and measure your resting blood pressure. 


You will then be asked to ride an exercise bike for about 15 minutes, during which the speed, incline and resistance settings of the bike will increase every 2 minutes. While you cycle, your heart rate, blood pressure and ECG rhythm will be monitored.


The test will continue until you reach your maximum level of exercise and may be stopped if you develop any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Chest pain

  • Dizziness

  • Shortness of breath or severe panting

  • Concerning signs noted on ECG or blood pressure analysis

  • Or if you are too tired to continue


After your exercise, you will be monitored for another 10-15 minutes as important signs may be elicited during the recovery period. 


It takes a total of 30 minutes to complete your test.

How do you prepare for an Exercise ECG Stress Test?

Wear comfortable shoes and loose clothing. 


Let our staff members know if you are taking the following medications and have taken a dose in the 24-48 hours before your test.

  • Sildenafil citrate (Viagra)

  • Tadalafil (Cialis)

  • Vardenafil (Levitra)


Stop taking your beta-clocker, nitrate and digitalis medications for at least 48 hours before your test.


Do not eat, smoke or consume beverages containing caffeine or alcohol for at least 3 hours before your test. These include:

  • Tea/coffee

  • All sodas, even those labelled as caffeine-free

  • Chocolates

  • Pain medications containing caffeine

What happens after the Exercise ECG Stress Test?

Depending on the test result and clinical scenario, a positive Exercise ECG Stress Test may indicate cardiology referral for further management. 

For further information on the Exercise ECG Stress Test, feel free to contact Surecell Australia at (03) 9822 9996 or email us at and we will ensure a staff member will assist with your query.

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