How long will I be on the treadmill?
For the test to be diagnostic a minimum of 6 minutes is required. Generally patients average between 6 and 12 minutes (depending on fitness).
Why is the test performed on a treadmill rather than a bicycle?
Generally, there are a greater proportion of people who can walk rather than cycle. Cycling, while it may appear easier, requires greater use of the larger, stronger leg muscles and therefore most patients often fatigue a lot quicker and often earlier than they would on a treadmill.
A treadmill gives us a more physiological exercise response, allowing stress physicians to gradually increase your heart rate in a much more gentle way during the test.
What should I wear?
You should wear clothing that you’re comfortable to exercise in. It is appropriate to wear pants/shorts with a shirt as opposed to a dress, as we will need to place electrodes on your chest (as well as perform an ultrasound if your test has an echo component). Appropriate footwear should be worn – sneakers/joggers etc.
Do I take my medications prior to undergoing testing?
Please talk to your doctor prior to undergoing any cardiac stress testing on instructions for withholding any of your usual medications. If you have not been advised to withhold any medications, please take all medications as usual. If you are fasting for a test, a small sip of water may be had to swallow your medications.
Will I need to run?
No, not always. The treadmill protocols are modified to suit your individual fitness. At CVS we use the ‘Ramped’ protocol, which allows us to increase the incline and pace of the treadmill in very gentle increments. The test starts as a slow walk before progressing to a brisk walk up an incline. Patients who are quite fit and active may be required to run for the last minute or two of the protocol in order to increase their heart rate to the desired level.
Why can't I drive after a Dobutamine Stress Test?
Dobutamine can affect people in many different ways, and can sometimes leave you feeling fatigued and a bit ‘washed out’. While the medication is very short acting and side effects are very mild and rare, we do recommend you arrange alternate transport home. If unavoidable, we may require you to wait an additional 20-30 minutes for monitoring post-test.
Why do I have to fast?
As you will be performing exercise, it’s necessary that you do so on an ‘empty stomach’. Depending on the level of exertion you’re required to perform, this avoids you feeling unwell whilst exercising. Furthermore, in the very rare case that any additional medical treatment needs to be administered, having you fasted, we can expedite any treatment that needs to be followed up.
When will my doctor get the results?
CVS prides ourselves on prompt reporting, we will have your results back with the referring doctor within four working days from completing the test. They will be sent directly to your referring doctor once reported upon by a CVS cardiologist. If you require urgent results please advise the technician at the time of your appointment. Any urgent and/or abnormal tests will be discussed with a cardiologist and your referring doctor will be contacted promptly to optimise patient medical management and triage when necessary.