A stress echocardiogram (or "stress echo") is a diagnostic test usually used to assess for coronary artery disease but can also be used in assessment of valvular heart disease. It is an ultrasound test performed both at rest and then with the heart under "stress". The stress is achieved either by exercising on a treadmill or by receiving a medication which stimulates the heart - see dobutamine stress echocardiogram. Your doctor will decide which is the better option for you. The test takes around 1 hour. If treadmill exercise is being performed some comfortable clothes and shoes are helpful.
Your heart rate, blood pressure and heart rhythm will be monitored. An ultrasound probe will be placed on the chest with a gel to allow passage of ultrasound waves. Our cardiac sonographer will record images for the cardiologist to review. A report will be sent to your referring doctor and used to help assess and treat your cardiac condition.