Tests and studies: Stress echocardiography
Echocardiography stress test; Stress test - echocardiography
Stress echocardiography is a test that helps diagnose heart disease with the help of ultrasound images. (A more routine exercise stress test does not use imaging.) Following exercise or other stress to the heart, the images reveal parts of the heart that may not be receiving enough blood or oxygen because of blocked arteries.
This test may be used to monitor your progress if you already have a known heart condition.
How the Test is Performed
The ultrasound portion of this test is performed in the same way as an echocardiogram. Exercise (treadmill/bicycle) or medication is used to increase your heart rate and show how your heart works under exertion.
How to Prepare for the Test
You will be asked to sign a consent form before the test.
How the Test Will Feel
A stress echocardiogram includes the following steps:
Why the Test is Performed
The test is performed to see whether your heart is getting enough blood flow and, therefore, enough oxygen when it is put under stress. The intent is to discover and treat any blockage or disease before serious or life-threatening problems develop.
The risks are very low, and health care professionals will monitor you during the entire procedure. Rare complications include abnormal heart rhythm, heart attack, and collapse.
The main benefit is that a stress echocardiogram is a very effective, noninvasive test that can help determine whether you have blockages in your coronary arteries and if so, how serious the problem is. Early diagnosis and monitoring of heart disease allows treatment to begin early.
For patients who have already been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, this test can show whether your heart's function and blood flow are stable, or if blood flow to additional areas of your heart has become blocked.