Pediatric Heart Stress Test

A pediatric heart stress test, combined with an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), provides information about how well a child’s heart functions.

The exercise stress test takes measurements of the child’s heart activity while he or she is active — as kids often are. Other heart tests may take measurements while the child is resting.

The child will walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike. Under the guidance of a trained health care provider, the pediatric heart stress test will gradually become more difficult. On a treadmill, the speed and elevation will increase gradually. On a stationary bike, the pedaling resistance — how hard the child must work to move the pedals — will increase gradually.

For the EKG, 10 self-adhesive electrodes will be placed on the child’s body in precise areas to capture heart activity during the test. The child also will wear a cuff on the arm to measure blood pressure readings. To capture breathing and oxygen readings, the child may wear a mouthpiece and a nose clip during the test.

Following the test, our pediatric cardiologists will gather and analyze the data from the pediatric heart stress test. They will then meet with the family to discuss the results and any recommendations for treatment, if necessary.

Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has rated Norton Children’s Heart Institute’s pediatric heart care among the best in the region. Norton Children’s has a network of outreach diagnostic and treatment services conveniently located throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Why Choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute

No other congenital heart surgery program in Kentucky, Ohio or Southern Indiana is rated higher by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons than the Norton Children’s Heart Institute Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Program.

  • Norton Children’s Hospital has been a pioneer in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, performing Kentucky’s first pediatric heart transplant in 1986 and becoming the second site in the United States to perform an infant heart transplant.
  • Our board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric cardiovascular surgeons are leaders in the field as clinicians and researchers.
  • More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute successfully performs more than 17,500 procedures a year.
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons rated Norton Children’s Heart Institute among the best in the region after studying years of our patients’ outcomes and our ability to treat a range of pediatric heart conditions, including the most severe.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has satellite outpatient offices in Ashland, Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, London, Madisonville, Murray, Owensboro, Paducah and Shepherdsville in Kentucky; as well as Corydon, Jasper, Madison and Scottsburg in Indiana; 28 tele-echocardiography locations in Kentucky and Southern Indiana; and six fetal echocardiography locations across Kentucky.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has awarded the cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Hospital with subspecialty certification in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) is the largest dedicated CICU in Kentucky, equipped with 17 private rooms and the newest technology available for heart care.
  • Our multidisciplinary approach to pediatric heart surgery brings together our specialists in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, anesthesiology, cardiac critical care and other areas to create a complete care plan tailored for your child.
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Norton Children’s Heart Institute

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