About the Test

A stress echocardiogram incorporates cardiac stress testing with echocardiographic imaging. A cardiac stress is an exercise tolerance test designed to increase an individual's heart rate - to "stress" the heart while hooked up to an EKG. This is performed and monitored by a medical professional who is looking for any abnormalities that suggest the presence of heart disease. The test is used to detect certain abnormalities, to monitor patients with known heart disease and to check the effectiveness of treatment or surgery. You will be interviewed and prepared for your stress test. Electrode patches will be placed on your chest. You will have a baseline EKG done and your blood pressure will be checked. Any questions that you have will be answered.  
The purpose of the test is to gradually increase your heart rate. You will be asked to walk on a treadmill, or if unable to, receive a medication called Dobutamine to increase the heart rate. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and EKG will be monitored.
It is important that you report any chest pain, chest pressure, shortness of breath, pain in your arms or neck, tiredness or any other discomfort you may feel while performing the test.
The test is geared to your age, health status, and ability. Your test may be terminated at any time.
After exercise, there will be approximately 6 minutes of rest with continued monitoring of your EKG,vital signs and echocardiographic imaging.
An echocardiogram (ECHO) is an ultrasound of your heart. The heart is viewed on a screen with the use of a transducer and ultrasound gel. The study is recorded. The transducer is a small probe that emits sound waves. The sound waves travel through the gel to your heart and create a picture of your heart on the video screen.
The ECHO allows the cardiologist to access many aspects of your heart among them being:
     - how well the heart is pumping
     - blood flow
     - valve structure
     - heart size
The pictures are taken with you lying on your left side and then on your back. This test requires intense concentration by the technicians to obtain proper views so conversation will be limited, please don't consider this a lack of consideration. During the test you may be asked to change your breathing or hold your breath to enable the technicians to get the best picture of your heart.

Upon completion of the study, a cardiologist will interpret the results. A report will be forwarded to your cardiologist and primary care physician. Unless otherwise instructed, you should make an appointment with your cardiologist or physician to discuss the results of the test.
The exercise test may cause (in some people): skipped heart beats, chest pain, in very rare instances; a heart attack, in extremely rare instances; death. These occurrences are extremely rare. Every effort is made to avoid or minimize these occurrences. Personnel and equipment are readily available if such an event should occur.


If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call the office at 587-7625
between 9 am and 5pm. Kindly give a 24 hour notice if cancelling your appointment.

-Nothing to eat or drink 2 hours before test.

MEDICATIONS: Please bring a copy of a complete list of medication(s) including the
dosage with you. (Also, if you have stopped a medication please bring it with you.)

-Hold any medications as instructed by your ordering physician.
-Do not take Cialis, Levitra, Viagra 48 hours prior to the stress portion of the test.


-Wear comfortable clothes (sweat suit, shorts, loose fitting slacks, etc). If you need
to change - please arrive early and change in the rest room prior to your appointment.
Wear comfortable shoes (sneakers or good walking shoes). It is a good idea to carry
them in a bag with rainy or snowy weather.
-Bathe or shower prior to undergoing the test as the skin needs to be free of oils
where the electrode patches are placed for the EKG.
-Your chest may need to be shaved for proper electrode placement.
-Do not use bath or body oil, lotion or powder. (Deodorant is allowed).
-Do not smoke 4 hours prior to the test.