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Exercise stress test
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Exercise stress test

What does it mean when, during a exercise stress test (treadmill), they tell you to stop early?  Is it most likely a good thing or a bad one?

Details: Given a stress test for heart rate irregularities.  Resting rate was around 80, and bp around 110/70.  Between 3-6 min on the treadmill my bp was 170/80 and heartrate was over 140.  At 7-8 minutes they told me I could stop because "they had all the information they needed."  They said I would have the results in a couple of days.
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367994_tn?1304957193
The indication would be there is information that could be harmful for you to continue.  My stress test was terminated after about 7 minutes at the tolerance level of 7 METs. Healthy heart individual goes up to about 15 METs (it represents the metabolic rate that is corrolated to vital signs).

An EKG output could show an alleged abnormality such as an elevated ST interval, etc  Keep us posted with your results.  Thanks for sharing.

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159619_tn?1318997813
Could be absolutely normal. They need to wait until you reach 85% of your maximum predicted  heart rate. That is calculated as (220-age) X .85. In my case, I'm 52 so 85% of my max heart rate is 142. Once I reach that rate they will normally run for another minute or two and stop the test as that is all that is needed to get accurate results. During my last stress test I reached my number in 8 minutes and they asked if I wanted to keep going and let me go for another 10 minutes. I could have gone on but they had another test scheduled.

Hope this helps,

Jon
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Avatar_f_tn
It sounds like it could have been the latter.  They said I could continue but didn't have to.  85% max would be 154, so I was probably hitting that.  Thanks for both your replies.  The thing is, my resting heart rate has been 55-60 lately and it isn't taking much to make it go over 140.  I guess I'll know more next week.
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367994_tn?1304957193
My stress test involved indurance testing measured by Bruce protocol measured in METs.
But my stress test was also interested in obtaining information from a prior heart attack and stopped after several minutes.

You were being tested for arrhythmia, and it is my understanding an EKG is only effective for  arrhythmia diagnosis if the arrhythmia happens during an EKG.  I'm not sure just reaching  your heart rate limit is enough, and to reach your limit in 3 minutes is very quick. If the heart rate was reached it seems plausible to not increase the speed, etc. but observe for any arrhythmia for a time...unless something showed up.

If I remember correctly, for the first 3 minutes was equivilent to a slow walk, then the next 3 minutes a little faster and some incline, etc.  If I could go 7 minutes before stopping in my condition years ago, it seems 3 minutes may be indicating something else, and it would be interesting to hear the results and the ekg may help show the source of your arrhythmia. Average


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159619_tn?1318997813
I understand what you're saying, but the Cardiologists I have worked with usually try to keep the heart rate during a stress test at 85%, which is enough to get sufficient information even when they are looking for arrhythmia, even more so as a higher heart rate could be dangerous in such a scenario. The fact that they offered to allow her to go on would make me think they were not concerned about any findings of an arrhythmia.

I know in my case, during my first stress test I reached my target number in just a few minutes due to conditioning. The last time took much longer and I was allowed to continue until I reached 11 METS at which time they needed the machine for the next test. That was OK, I was having trouble holding my exercise pants up by that time anyways:)

Jon
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm also waiting to hear back from an event loop recorder and an echocardiogram.  Hopefully by the end of next week I'll have a few more answers.
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367994_tn?1304957193
There certainly are more people that know about heart arrhythmia and testing than I do.  I didn't mean to imply that the heart rate be above the recommend safe level.  What I meant, once the recommended heart rate is acheived, maintain that rate for for a longer time if necessary to try and capture any heart rhythm irregulatities.  Its possible necessary information was obtained within 3 minutes...or there may have be a machine malfunction:)
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