Tuesday, 18 Jun 2024

Bruce Protocol Stress Test

The Bruce Protocol Stress Test is a widely-used treadmill exercise stress test designed to evaluate cardiac function and fitness. Originally developed as a clinical test for patients with suspected coronary heart disease, it can also be used to estimate cardiovascular fitness in athletes. This stress test should always be performed under the supervision of trained medical staff.

Purpose and Equipment

The purpose of the Bruce Protocol Stress Test is to evaluate cardiac function and fitness. The equipment required for the test includes a treadmill, stopwatch, a 12-lead electrocardiograph (ECG) machine and leads, sticking tape, and clips.

Test Procedure

The test is performed on a treadmill, with the ECG leads placed on the chest wall if necessary. The treadmill starts at a speed of 2.74 km/hr (1.7 mph) and an incline of 10%. At three-minute intervals, the incline of the treadmill increases by 2%, and the speed increases as shown in the table below. The test should be stopped when the subject cannot continue due to fatigue or pain or for any other medical indications.

Modified Bruce Protocol

There is a commonly used Modified Bruce Protocol, which starts at a lower workload than the standard test and is typically used for elderly or sedentary patients. The first two stages of the Modified Bruce Test are performed at a speed of 1.7 mph and a 0% grade and 1.7 mph and a 5% grade. The third stage corresponds to the first stage of the Standard Bruce Test protocol.

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Interpreting Results

The test score is the time taken on the test, in minutes. This can also be converted to an estimated VO2max score using specific formulas. It is important to use the formula derived from a similar population that best suits your needs.

Similar Fitness Tests

  • Balke Test
  • Astrand Treadmill Test
  • Treadmill VO2max

Conclusion

The Bruce Protocol Stress Test is a valuable tool for evaluating cardiac function and fitness. It allows medical professionals to assess patients with suspected coronary heart disease and provides important information for training programs. It is important to note that the test should always be performed under the supervision of trained medical staff.