Microvolt T-wave Alternans is a non-invasive test used to identify people at risk for an arrhythmia that can result in sudden cardiac death. Most people who suffer a cardiac arrest have an identifiable electrical disorder that puts them at risk. MTWA test requires the elevation of your heart rate and rhythm via an EKG while walking on a treadmill for a short time.
Pre procedure instructions:
Do not eat or drink anything for 2 to 3 hours before the test. Diabetic patients may have a snack 2 to 3 hours before the test and take half of your normal insulin dose. DO NOT TAKE ANY BETA BLOCKERS OR CALCIUM CHANNEL BLOCKERS 48 HOURS PRIOR TO THE TEST. You may take your other medications the morning of your test.
Do not use any body lotions or creams the day of the test. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a T-shirt.
What to expect:
A technologist will prepare you for the test. She will prep the skin with a mild abrasive and then apply 14 electrodes. She will also take your blood pressure and take EKG readings. Using a low level exercise, the technologist will attempt to get your heart rate between 100 to 110 beats per minute for 2 ½ minutes. Once that has been achieved then the technologist will slowly increase your heart rate to 110 to 120 beats per minute for 1 ½ minutes. The test will take approximately 40 minutes to complete and your physician will be on the premises during the test. You will be scheduled for a follow-up visit approximately 1 week later to receive the results.