Test Types

The purpose of this page is to provide you with information explaining the nature of the test your doctor will refer you for.

12 Lead ECG
Purpose: To record the electrical activity of the heart
The Test: Adhesive electrodes will be placed on the limbs and chest and attached to a ECG machine. Some blood pressure tablets (beta blockers) may need to be stopped either 24 or 48 hours prior to your test, please ask our staff about this when booking your test.
Time: Approximately 5 minutes
Preparation: Nil

Echocardiogram
Purpose: To assess the structure and function of the heart by visualising the heart and blood flow, utilising high frequency sound (ultrasound) waves.
The Test: You will be asked to undress to the waist and lie on your side. A technician will perform the test by placing a small probe on the surface of the chest. Apart from the pressure of the probe on the chest, there is nothing else to feel and no risks.
Time: Approximately 45 minutes
Preparation: Wear a two piece outfit.

Stress Echocardiogram
The Test: An Exercise Stress test which includes, an echocardiogram of the heart before and after exercise. This test is used when the normal Exercise Test alone may not provide adequate information or when additional information about heart function is required. A Consultant Cardiologist is present for this test. Some blood pressure tablets (beta blockers) may need to be stopped either 24 or 48 hours prior to your test, please ask our staff about this when booking your test.
Time: Approximately 40 minutes
Preparation:

Unless specifically told, please continue to take all your usual medications prior to test.

  • Bring a list of current medication
  • Do not eat for 1 hour prior to test
  • Wear a comfortable two piece outfit and rubber-soled shoes suitable for exercise
  • No smoking one hour prior to the test
  • You will be asked to undress to the waist (you will have a gown on) and electrodes attached to the chest. Men may require some chest hair to be shaved.

Exercise (Stress) Test
Purpose: May be ordered to measure your exercise capacity, help diagnose exercise-related symptoms (eg chest pain) and assess treatment.
The Test: Involves exercising on a treadmill in the presence of a doctor and technician whilst your electrocardiogram, pulse and blood pressure are monitored continuously. The exercise will start at a low, gentle level and will gradually increase until the doctor feels it is appropriate to stop. Your recovery will then be monitored for a short time.
Time: Approximately 40 minutes.
Preparation:

Unless specifically told, please continue to take all your usual medications prior to test.

  • Bring a list of current medication
  • Do not eat for 1 hour prior to test
  • Wear a comfortable two piece outfit and rubber-soled shoes suitable for exercise
  • No smoking one hour prior to the test
  • You will be asked to undress to the waist (ladies may leave their bra on) electrodes attached to the chest. Men may require some chest hair to be shaved.