Cardiac stress tests

Learn more about what to expect at a cardiac stress test and how to prepare.


Before we can begin treatment for your heart problem, you may need some tests to give us more information about your heart condition. This particular test is known by several names. It can be called an Exercise Stress Test, a Stress Echo, a Treadmill Exercise Stress Test, and an Exercise Tolerance Test.

This Stress Echo uses ultrasound waves to get pictures of the heart and show how well it’s working, both at rest and during the added “stress” of a higher pulse and blood pressure.

There are two different ways to administer this test, depending on your situation. There is an exercise-based stress test and also a stress test induced by a drug called Dobutamine.

Preparing for the test

A doctor may order a cardiac stress test to check how well the heart works during exercise. It helps detect heart problems, like blocked blood vessels and other problems. The test can also see if treatments are effective. It can also check the recovery after heart events like heart attacks or surgeries.

During the test

After the test

Support for Indigenous Peoples

The Indigenous Wellness Liaison Team is here to support your health journey. Team members offer cultural support and healthcare advocacy. Learn more below or call them at 604-682-2344,62937 or email

  • Indigenous wellness services

    The Indigenous Wellness Team at Providence is available to support Indigenous patients and their families. We are here to coordinate culturally safe wellness supports and services.

Education & resources

Exercise stress test with Dr. Scott Lear

Watch a video of Dr. Scott Lear taking the stress test at St. Paul’s Hospital.


Cardiology Department
Room 2450, Providence Wing,  St. Paul’s Hospital

Follow the red line on the floor from the Burrard main entrance all the way to the end.

Transportation & parking

Remember to allow time before your Cardiac Stress Test to get from your car or transit to the test area in the Cardiology Department. When you arrive at St. Paul’s Hospital, enter through the main doors off Burrard Street. If you are not sure where to go, ask a volunteer or the Information Desk for directions to the Cardiology Department. Tell them you’re here for a Cardiac Stress Test.


Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. — 4:00 p.m.

Medical & professional referrals