Dr Mark Kennedy - Private Internal Medicine Specialist
Resting Echocardiogram (Echo) and Exercise Stress Echocardiogram
If your doctor is looking for evidence of coronary artery disease he may perform a variation of this test which includes:
- Exercise echocardiography - a technique used to view how your heart works under stress. It compares how your heart works when stressed by exercise compared with when it is at rest. The ultrasound is undertaken before exercise and immediately after you stop exercising. A standard treadmill is used (see Exercise ECG above).
- Dobutamine stress echocardiography - if you’re unable to exercise for the above test, you might be given medication to simulate the effects of exercise. During this test, an echocardiogram is initially performed when you’re at rest. Then Dobutamine is given to you via a needle into a vein in your arm. Its effect is to make your heart work harder and faster just like with exercise. After it has taken effect, the echocardiogram is repeated. The effect of Dobutamine wears off very quickly.
After the test:
An Exercise Stress Echo or Dobutamine Stress Echo that is clearly negative is reassuring and indicates good cardiac function.
The Exercise Test results can be used to direct further investigations and possible treatment.
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This page was last updated at 11:19AM on May 13, 2019.