Queensland Diagnostic Imaging

Exercise Stress Test

What is an Exercise Stress Test?

An exercise stress test is an imaging procedure that assesses the blood supply to the heart and how well the heart copes with stress. The stress is applied in the form of exercise on a treadmill.

Images are taken while the heart is at rest and after the heart has been at work.

What is an Exercise Stress Test used to diagnose?

An exercise stress test is often ordered when a patient presents with symptoms associated with heart disease such as chest pain and shortness of breath.

How long does it take?

An exercise stress test normally takes between 30 and 60 minutes.

How should I prepare?

When you book your appointment, we’ll discuss any preparation needed for your particular procedure. 

Generally, all forms of food or drink containing caffeine should be avoided for 24 hours before the test. You may be asked to fast for up to four hours before the test.

You should let us know when you make the appointment: 

  • if you’re taking any medication to slow your heart rate
  • if you take a regular prescription of stroke-preventative medication
  • if you’re pregnant or may possibly be pregnant
  • if you have asthma
  • if you’re diabetic.

We recommend that you dress in comfortable clothing and footwear suitable for physical exercise. 

Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment so that any paperwork can be completed.

What can I expect during a Stress Test?

We recommend that you dress in comfortable clothing and footwear suitable for physical exercise.

The technician will stick electrodes to your chest to record your heart’s electrical activity. You’ll also wear a blood pressure cuff around your arm to measure your blood pressure throughout the test. 

You will be asked to walk on a treadmill, with the grade and speed increasing every few minutes for as long as possible. A specialist will supervise the exercise and monitor your ECG, pulse and blood pressure.

What will it cost?

A Medicare rebate benefit may apply for these examinations. If there’s an out-of-pocket expense, we’ll let you know when you book your appointment.

When will I get the results?

We will prepare a report for your doctor or health practitioner and send it electronically within 24 – 48 hours. You should make an appointment with your referring doctor to receive and talk about your test results.

What are the risks of an Exercise Stress Test?

Exercise stress tests involve some risk for patients with potential heart problems. Physical exercise is an essential part of the test and can induce cardiac symptoms. All tests are performed with a specialist, emergency equipment and medication in the event of a medical complication.

Appointment Preparation
  • Follow preparations advised at the time of booking appointment.
  • Quoted fees payable at the completion of your appointment.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment.

For more details on what to bring, payment & results click below:

Where can I have an Exercise Stress Test?

QDI performs exercise stress tests at:

QDI St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside Chermside, QLD