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Definition of Bruce protocol

Bruce protocol: A standardized multistage treadmill test for assessing cardiovascular health, The test was developed and described in 1963 by the American cardiologist Robert A. Bruce (1916-2004).

According to the original Bruce protocol, the patient walks on an uphill treadmill in a graded exercise test with electrodes on the chest to monitor the EKG. Every 3 minutes, the speed and incline of the treadmill are increased. There are 7 such stages and only very fit athletes can complete all 7 stages.

The modified Bruce protocol is an alteration in the protocol so that the treadmill is initially horizontal rather than uphill, with the first few intervals increasing the treadmill slope only.

The test can detect evidence of angina pectoris (chest pain and discomfort), a previous heart attack, and ventricular aneurysm (bulging in the ventricle of the heart).

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=30741
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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