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Stress test question


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Deborah H.
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  • Stress test question

    My 7 yr. old daughter is scheduled for her first stress test on June 20.
    I have been told it is a treadmill test. What should I be looking for as far as safety during the test and what kind of results are good/bad?
    She has a septum measurement of 7-8 mm. and so far her symptoms are tiredness with exertion and awareness of the heart beating. Many thanks.
    Daughter 12, Chinese adoptee, diagnosed April, 2005- ICD 2008

  • #2
    The stress test is designed to see how much physical exertion a person can handle and also to see what their blood pressure does during exercise.

    There are always at least two people and several monitors (heart, oxygen, etc) with the person at all times and so there is very little danger to your child. They do not push anyone to do too much and they stop the test if they see any danger signs.

    Her blood pressure should rise upon exertion and fall after --some HCMers will have flat bp during exercise and this is not good in the long run.

    Other than that, I don't think you can say there is any one set of stats that is "best" for this kind of test. It is more like "does she fall in the normal range of abilities for her age," which are stats I don't know off hand. You might find some online.

    Let us know how it goes!


    (ps my first stress test was at 14 and I was more upset that the blood gas monitor burned me than anything else. I don't think they use that kind anymore--this was over 20 years ago.)


    • #3

      I Just had one today and its not anything to worry about. You are prepared first with all the wires attached to your chest- I had about 8 in total. I was then asked to lay down for a regular echo.

      Mine was a metabolic stress test so i had to breath into a tube. So next they gave me the breathing mouth piece. This was nothing to worry about either - I though it might restrict breathing but it did not at all

      Then, next was the treadmill - they start you on it at a very slow pace and are very much in tune as to how you are doing. there were 2 people with me and were ready to stop in at a moments notice. they told me when they were increasing the speed and gradient of the platform. They are continously checking your vitals and take your BP every 2 minutes

      Once it is finished you will have to jump onto the Echo table quickly for another echo. Thats pretty much all i had to do

      Hope this helps


      • #4

        I echo that sentiment that the test is really nothing to worry about. If your daughter shows signs of difficulty or she feels like she can't continue they'll stop the test. The object of the test does not involve finding out exactly how much "stress" the patient can withstand! It really looks at how well the cardiovasular system behaves under "stress" (or "load") from the treadmill.

        There are several types of stress test that could have been ordered. The echo may or may not be a part of it. Breathing into a tube or taking air from a mouthpiece may or may not be a part of it. It may be that the doctor just wants to look at the EKG and blood pressure behavior. There are additional things that can be learned by adding O2 measurements and an echo.

        Depending on the test type, the doctors may be able to extrapolate (or project) to the patient's max capabilities, such as maximum possible oxygen uptake rate (= vO2max expressed in liters/minute/kilogram of weight)., but the patient will not be subjected to maximum possible stress to actually measure the maximum numbers--something that is tough on Olympic athletes, much less HCM'ers!

        Hope things go well for you guys!

        Rob Thomas
        --Living life on the edge .. of a continent!
        Charter member: Tinman Club


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