Ergometry - Heart load test
Ergometry is performed in a specially equipped office of the Pulse Cardiology Center in accordance with various protocols and indications. The room is large enough to receive all the necessary equipment and provides adequate access to the patient in emergency situations. The test room is well lit, clean and well ventilated with temperature and humidity control. Cardiologists use the most modern medical equipment, which guarantees high accuracy of results.
What is ergometry
Ergometry is the study of cardiac function under exertion (heart load test). It is a procedure that determines the influence of physical activity on heart work. A healthy person’s heart allows them to overcome significant physical stress. Ischemic heart disease significantly reduces this ability, worsening the patient’s condition during exertion. The necessity to study the cardiovascular condition of the heart is caused by the fact that some heart diseases do not manifest at rest (for example, arrhythmia and coronary artery insufficiency), which makes timely diagnosis difficult.
Why a heart load test is performed
Indications for performing a heart load test – ergometry are:
- Detection, evidence and monitoring of ischemic heart disease. These are narrowings in the blood vessels of the heart (coronary arteries) that feed the heart muscle.
- Detection and determination of heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmia).
- Monitoring the effects and success of previous treatment (therapy).
- Evaluation of the efficacy of minimally invasive intravascular procedures (balloon expansion and stenting) for patients with coronary insufficiency
- Diagnosis of latent (hidden) forms of cardiac arrhythmias that do not manifest at rest
- Determination of the state of the valvular heart and diagnosis of hemodynamic disorders during exertion
- Determining the response to changes in blood pressure during physical activity
How a load test (ergometry) is performed
Exercise test (ergometry) is a non-invasive diagnostic method, which determines the impact of exercise on heart rate. Exercise can lead to the manifestation of cardiac disorders, which cannot be noticed when the heart is at rest.
The test is performed by the patient who is walking on a treadmill or riding a bicycle, while gradually increasing the speed and resistance of the bicycle, ie. slope on the strip (physical load increases).
During the test, the following is monitored all the time: electrical activity of the heart (using ECG), blood pressure, heart rate per minute, breathing, as well as the patient’s subjective feeling (fatigue, discomfort – chest pain, choking, dizziness, fainting, throbbing or heart skipping).
The test is performed until a certain number of heartbeats per minute (a certain heart rate) is reached. The test is stopped if you report that you cannot continue the test or that you have any of the following problems: chest pain, choking, dizziness, fainting, palpitations or skipping of the heart;
The test takes about 30 minutes. Test results are available immediately.
How to prepare for Ergometry
- You can eat a light meal at least 2-3 hours before the test to avoid a hypoglycaemic reaction. In the same time interval, and it is recommended for a longer time, before ergometry, do not consume coffee, caffeinated beverages, Coca Cola, cigarettes.
- On the day of the test, you can drink all the regular therapy (especially for blood pressure), unless the cardiologist who asked for the test said otherwise.
- If you are receiving pulmonary therapy and using pumps, take them with you and tell to our staff what lung disease you have.
- If you are diabetic, you should take a light meal and drink your usual oral therapy before the test, and patients on insulin therapy before the test should reduce their insulin dose in consultation with a cardiologist.
- Wear / bring comfortable clothes and footwear that do not limit fast walking or cycling.
You will stand for a few seconds, and for the next 5 minutes you will take a lying position (the electrical activity of the heart, blood pressure and the number of heartbeats per minute will be monitored all the time).
After the test, you can return to your usual daily activities.
Potential risks of ergometry
Very rarely, a drop in blood pressure or a heart rhythm disorder can occur.
Heart attack is extremely rare.
Ergometric test for athletes
We also use ergometric assessment to provide a detailed analysis and recommendations for the type of training to athletes working at all levels. Ergometry can be used to better understand energy expenditure for performing certain exercises. The data can then be used to build better, more effective training programs and regimes.
Ergometric data can teach the body how to be more efficient during energy consumption and how to use that energy for stronger and more efficient performance. By continuously examining at regular intervals, interpreted data can help build stronger performance with fewer injuries.