cardiac stress test CPX

Orthopedics surgery

Procedure description

The test is most commonly called a cardiac stress test but is known by other names, such as exercise testing, stress testing treadmills, exercise tolerance test, stress test, stress test ECG, cardiac diagnostic test, cardiopulmonary exercise test, or abbreviated CPX test. The main reason for cardiac stress testing is to define the risk stratification of known or possible cardiac associated death, possible cardiac causes of dyspnoea, evaluation of the effects of exercise on valvular dysfunction, pulmonary pressures or arrhythmia, as well as risk assessment in the postinfarct, preoperative or high-risk patient populations.

This cardiological test measures the heart's ability to respond to external stress in a controlled clinical environment. These cardiac stress tests compare the coronary circulation while the patient is at rest with the same patient's circulation during maximum cardiac exertion, showing any abnormal blood flow to the myocardium. The stress response is induced by exercise or by intravenous pharmacological stimulation. The test administrator or attending physician examines the symptoms, blood pressure response, oxygen saturation in blood, and measures the heart's response to the stress the patient via an electrocardiogram (ECG).

Despite the rising challenge of new, specialized diagnostic methods such as stress-echocardiography and stress-MRI, ergometry is still one of the most commonly used essential examinations of patients with or suspected of heart disease. A careful selection of these patients and a proper test protocol can improve the validity of outcomes in those patients with coronary heart disease and set the right directions for subsequent examinations of those with cardiac arrhythmia.

The results are interpreted as a reflection on the general physical condition of the test patient.

People who cannot use their legs may exercise with a bicycle-like crank that they turn with their arms.

The American Heart Association recommends ECG treadmill testing as the first choice for patients with a medium risk of coronary heart disease according to risk factors of smoking, family history of coronary artery stenosis, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol.


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