Ergometry – Stress Test
The stress test – a bicycle ergometry, just as in my practice – is an important part of the pediatric cardiological examination. The minimum body size for this examination is 135-140 cm. It is a new experience for many children to overstrain themselves without a goal. For an optimal examination, it is also important that the children participate mentally in addition to the physical activity.
The most important indications for a stress test are:
- Cardiac arrhythmias. Here, the heart rhythm is observed under load. The most common indications are extrasystoles – in benign forms these extra beats can completely disappear under stress. On the other hand, tachycardia arrhythmias (too fast heartbeat) can sometimes be provoked and recognized under strain.
- Thoracic pain. Despite normal echocardiography, a normal ergometry is needed to ascertain that the complaints have no cardiac origin, such as e.g. in the case of coronary artery changes that are out of the field of view of echocardiography.
- Blood pressure problems. The exam can be helpful in differentiating the different types of hypertension. A 24-hour blood pressure exam is always the first step in the diagnosis.
- Performance diagnostics. The load capacity can be determined objectively, or the development can be documented in repeated examinations.
Before the examination, a light meal (carbohydrates) should be taken to avoid low blood sugar. Sportive clothing is recommended for an optimal examination procedure.
In case of special questions, an echocardiography is also performed during the ergometry (stress echo).