Pulmonary Stress Test

Pulmonary Stress Test

What is a Pulmonary Treadmill Stress Test?

Pulmonary Treadmill Stress Test is a Regular Treadmill Stress Test with the addition of a pulse oximeter (a device used to measure the level of oxygen in your blood).

While walking on a treadmill, the patient is monitored by an ECG (electrocardiogram). This test is helpful in finding out what your exercise capability is and if you have any heart or lung related problems with exercise. Problems with exercise include changes on the ECG (ECG’s show the electrical pathway of your heartbeat), chest or angina discomfort, shortness of breath, abnormal blood pressure or decrease in oxygen level in response to exercise.

Preparation for the Pulmonary Treadmill Stress Test

  • Do not take your heart medications for 24 hours before your test unless your physician instructs you differently.
  • The Cardiac Registered Nurse will contact you the business day prior to your scheduled appointment. At that time the nurse will discuss your medications and any specific preparation for the test with you.
  • Do not have any caffeine for at least 2 hours prior to your test. Coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate may contain caffeine.
  • Do not smoke for at least 3-4 hours prior to your test.
  • You may eat a light breakfast – such as toast and juice.
  • Wear flat comfortable walking shoes.
  • Wear a baggy or button front short-sleeved shirt. Women are encouraged to wear a button front shirt.

During the Pulmonary Treadmill Stress Test

  • Small sticky pads are placed on your upper body to monitor your heartbeat. A blood pressure cuff is placed on your arm. A painless device to measure your oxygen level in your blood will be placed on your finger.
  • A Cardiac Registered Nurse will explain the Stress Test Procedure. You will need to exercise for several minutes.
  • The exercise is very easy at first and slowly gets harder.
  • You should exercise for as long as possible or until you are asked to stop. The more you are able to exercise the more information your physician will get from the test.
  • Your blood pressure, heartbeat and oxygen levels will be monitored throughout the test.

Report Any Symptoms

During the Test, be sure to tell the staff if you have any of the following:
  • Chest, Arm or Jaw Discomfort
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
  • Leg Cramps or Soreness

After the Pulmonary Treadmill Stress Test

  • You may resume your normal activity unless otherwise directed by the testing physician.
  • Take your regular medications as directed unless otherwise directed by the testing physician.
  • Within two to three business days, the test results will be sent to the physician that ordered the test. An appointment will be scheduled with the ordering physician’s office to discuss the results of your test.
  • Keep any scheduled follow-up appointments.