What are contraindications for an exercise stress test?
Any patient with significant musculoskeletal problems that would prevent him or her from achieving a maximal heart rate should undergo pharmacologic stress testing. Patients with certain ongoing dysrhythmias, such as ventricular tachycardia, supraventricular tachycardia, new-onset atrial fibrillation, or heart block, should receive treatment for those dysrhythmias before the stress test is rescheduled. Known atrial fibrillation that is adequately treated is not a contraindication. Patients with severe pulmonary disease, severe hypertension (i.e., systolic blood pressure >210 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure >110 mm Hg), abdominal aortic aneurysms, symptomatic aortic stenosis, unstable angina, or active myocardial ischemia on electrocardiography (ECG) should also be excluded.