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Stress or Exercise Testing

An active testing method that uses exercise (treadmill or stationary bicycle) to evaluate the heart's ability to perform during vigorous exercise. Heart rate, heart rhythm, blood pressure, oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production are continuously monitored throughout the duration of the test.

Special preparation required: Patients should refrain from eating an hour before the test and come dressed in exercise clothing and shoes. During testing, your child will wear a face mask, placed over the nose and mouth, to analyze respiratory status.

Length of testing procedure: About an hour (20 minutes for set-up, 15 minutes for exercise, 20 minutes for recovery)

Uses - Stress of exercise testing may be used to:
• Ensure that children with heart conditions can participate in athletic activities after surgery
• Evaluate your child's cardiac and pulmonary function
• Identify activity-related symptoms such as fainting, chest pain, asthma, palpitations, etc.
• Assess your child's conditioning
• Learn how medications might affect your child's exercise performance
• Develop an exercise plan as part of your child's overall care and treatment plan
• Clear your child for competitive sports

Post-testing restrictions: Your child should be able to resume normal activities immediately, unless your child's physician instructs otherwise.

For patients with exercise limitations, a less strenuous testing option, the 6 minute walk test, can be used.