What is a Stress Echocardiogram?
A stress echocardiogram is an exercise test that evaluates the heart using both EKG and an ultrasound technology. The patient undergoing a stress echocardiogram is generally walking on a treadmill while being observed for determining:
- How well your heart tolerates activity
- The function of your heart and valves
- Your likelihood of having coronary artery disease
- The effectiveness of your cardiac treatment plan
- Whether the symptoms you are experiencing (i.e. chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, unexplained fatigue, palpitations, lightheadedness, etc.) are caused by a blockage of your heart or other heart conditions.
- If you have already been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, a stress test may enable the doctor to estimate the severity of the blockages.
- If you have just undergone balloon angioplasty or bypass surgery, a stress test can help monitor the success of the procedure as well as determine an appropriate rehabilitation program for you.
Stress Echo Preparation
The following factors can affect your test results:
- In preparation for your test, there are a few things that we need you to do for at least six hours before your appointment time:
- Avoid eating heavy meals; Do not consume coffee, decaffeinated drinks, or pop;
- No smoking or alcohol consumption
- If you have diabetes and use insulin (Take half of your normal insulin dose on the day of the test)
- The exercise during your test will lower your blood sugar levels. If you have any concerns or questions, please call the clinic or consult your family physician
- Don’t apply lotions, perfumes, or any powder to your chest area the day of your test, as we will be attaching sensors
- Wear a two-piece outfit and athletic shoes. You will be more comfortable during your test
- If you are taking medications to help you manage your heart, you may be asked to stop taking them the day before and day of your test. You will be required to fill out a medical history and a consent form