Treadmill test or exercise test in which a continuous electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) recording of the heart is made as the patient performs increasing levels of exercise on the treadmill which is tilted to produce the effect of going up a small hill. The patient can stop the test at any time, if necessary. Afterwards the patient has heart and blood pressure checked.
There is very little risk in taking the test in healthy persons -- no more than if a person walks fast or jogs up a big hill. Medical professionals should be present in case something unusual happens during the test.
The exercise treadmill test screens for the presence of narrowed coronary arteries that can limit the supply of oxygenated blood to the heart muscle during exercise. The test also detects abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).