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About Stress Echocardiography

Stress echocardiography is a procedure whereby an echocardiogram is performed before and after the heart is stressed either physically or medically. Ultrasound waves are used to produce images of the heart at rest and at the peak of exercise. Vascular doctors in Brooklyn perform a stress echocardiogram to find out whether you have sufficient blood flow to the heart or if it is decreased, as would be in the case of coronary artery disease. The test highlights any areas that that are not getting enough oxygen-rich blood as well and identify any causes of dizziness, breathlessness and spells of blackouts that you may be experiencing. A stress echocardiography is important because some patients with a blockage in the arteries may only experience symptoms when they are exercising.

An echocardiography and EKG are performed at resting alongside your blood pressure. You will then be asked to run on a treadmill that slowly increases in speed and incline. Patients that have difficulty walking on the treadmill can undergo this test with chemical stressing. An intravenous drip is used to administer a medication called dobutamine that makes the heart beat faster.

Stress Echocardiography

The EKG and blood pressure measurements are taken during the exercise period at regular intervals. An echocardiography is performed immediately at the end of the stress period.

  • Detecting blocked coronary arteries
  • Diagnosing heart enlargement
  • Detecting heart defects that are present from birth
  • Detecting any damage from heart attacks
  • Detecting pericardial disease
  • Investigating the overall functioning of heart muscle

In order to prepare for the test, your Brooklyn cardiologist will advise you:

  • To eat a light breakfast or lunch
  • Not to eat anything for up to four hours before the test
  • Dress in loose fitting clothing and comfortable walking or jogging shoes
  • Discontinue certain medications that you may be taking which might affect your test results.

The test will take approximately one hour to complete. It is a fairly safe procedure although some complications such as a rapid drop in blood pressure may occur in rare cases. However, medical personnel trained to deal with such emergencies are available should any complications arise.

Frequently Asked Questions – Echo Test Brooklyn, NY