Cardiology Services – TMT Stress Test – Tread Mill Test – Stress Test

The tread mill test (TMT) is also known as the cardiac stress test. The patient will be asked to exercise on a treadmill or bicycle. He or she is connected to an ECG device to measure blood pressure and heart rate during the exercise. The heart experiences stress during strenuous physical activity by beating harder and pumping the blood at a faster rate.

This test is also known as ETT or exercise treadmill test, and it is very useful in measuring the heart activity. The doctor monitors and interprets the wave form reading of the ECG device to diagnose life threatening heart diseases such as myocardial infarctions and arrhythmias. Making the heart rate and BP reach very high levels can give useful inputs to the doctor to make an accurate diagnosis of the heart condition.


  1. How is the test carried out?
  • The heart’s electrical activity such as rate and rhythm are measured during the exercise on treadmill.
  • Before the test begins, the patient’s chest is connected to ECG monitor by placing electrodes on the chest.
  • The patient will initially be asked to breathe rapidly or hyperventilate for some time.
  • Next he or she has to walk on a motorized treadmill
  • The doctor or technician, standing next to the patient, will gradually increase the speed and inclination of the treadmill.
  • ECG wave pattern and BP are checked, and the patient is queried as to how he or she is feeling.
  • The tread mill test lasts for up to 15 minutes based on level of exercise, cardiovascular conditioning, and recovery rate.
  • The technician carefully observes the patient and stops the test if chest pain or some other difficulty is indicated.
  1. What happens after the test is done?

The patient has to step down from the tread mill and take some rest till heart and blood pressure become normal. The stress test doctor evaluates the data collected from ECG monitor to make the necessary recommendations.

  1. How long does a normal stress test take?

The stress test using treadmill and ECG monitor takes 30 minutes.

  1. Is there any risk in taking the test?

Tread mill test is not risky as it is similar to a healthy person going for a fast walk or a jog up a big hill. There is little or no risk as the cardiologist and technician are always present by the patient’s side.

  1. Why is a stress test done?

The treadmill stress test is conducted to know more about:

  • How hard the heart can work before there are any symptoms.
  • How quickly the heart can recover after stressful exercise.
  • Heart functioning at rest and stressful situations.
  • The level of patient’s overall cardiovascular conditioning.
  1. Is it necessary to take a prior appointment?

The patient can take prior appointment to avoid delay on the day of test.


S. No. Investigation Fasting Instructions Medical Instructions
1 Stress Echo 4hrs. Fasting required before test. Prior Appointment preferred Bring old medical records.

Male patients should come with cleanly shaven chest.

Stop Beta blocker drugs for 2 days before the test. Use other drugs only on Doctors advice.
2 TMT 4 hrs. prior to the test. Stop beta blocker for 2 days before the test.