The exercise stress test -- also called a stress test, exercise electrocardiogram, treadmill test, graded exercise test, or stress ECG -- is used to provide information about how the heart responds to exertion. It usually involves walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike at increasing levels of difficulty, while your electrocardiogram, heart rate, and blood pressure are monitored.

TMT is done to

Determine if there is adequate blood flow to your heart during increasing levels of activity

Evaluate the effectiveness of your heart medications to control angina and ischemia

Determine the likelihood of having coronary heart disease and the need for further evaluation

Check the effectiveness of procedures done to improve blood flow within the heart vessels in people with coronary heart disease

Identify abnormal heart rhythms

Assess the function of heart valves if they are not functioning properly

Help you develop a safe exercise program

As long as you can walk and have a normal ECG, this is normally the first stress test performed. You walk on a treadmill while being monitored to see how far you walk and if you develop chest pain or changes in your ECG that suggest that your heart is not getting enough blood.