Stress echo is a non-invasive diagnostic test that combines the use of echo or ultrasound with a treadmill exercise stress test. It is used to look for any significant cardiac symptoms or changes that may be brought on by exercise or physical effort/stress, which might be suggestive of coronary artery disease. You will have ECG dots applied to your chest, and a baseline echo will be performed, where ultrasound images of your heart at rest will be recorded. You will then be exercised on a treadmill to increase your heart rate; during this time your ECG and blood pressure will be monitored. When you have reached 85% to 100% of your maximal heart rate for your age, or if you get symptoms, the treadmill will be stopped and you will be asked to lie down on the bed again, where some echo images will be taken while your heart rate is elevated. You may be asked to do some breathing techniques during this time which will enhance the images taken. These images will then be compared with your rest images and a comprehensive report based on your heart rate response, blood pressure and these images will be discussed with you by your doctor. This test will take 45-60 minutes.
As you will be exercising please wear a loose fitting short sleeved shirt and pants or a skirt which will be possible to exercise in. You should also wear comfortable non-slip shoes suitable for walking on a treadmill.
You must fast for 4 hours prior to your test. You may take your usual medications with water.
Please let us know if you are an insulin-dependent diabetic.
You need to bring your referral and a list of your regular medications.