A stress echocardiography, also called an echocardiography stress test or stress echo, is a procedure that determines how well your heart and blood vessels are working.
During a stress echocardiography, you’ll exercise on a treadmill while your doctor monitors your blood pressure and heart rhythm. When your heart rate reaches peak levels, your doctor will take ultrasound images of your heart to determine whether your heart muscles are getting enough blood and oxygen while you exercise.
- Determine the tolerance of the exercise in cardiac rehabilitation
- Determine the effectiveness of different treatments such as bypass grafting, angioplasty, and anti-anginal or antiarrhythmic medications.
- Your doctor will perform a pre-exercise imaging with the echocardiography
- You will be asked to walk on a motor driven treadmill with progressively increased speed and incline until you achieve a target heart rate (according to your age and medical condition), or develop significant electrocardiogram changes, symptoms or signs.
- Right after exercise, you will be asked to quickly lie on a stretcher, so that your doctor can acquire the necessary post-exercise images.
- Your doctor and nurse will closely monitor your ECG and blood pressure during the investigation.
- After the test, you will be monitored for 15 to 20 minutes. You need to stay in the test area before your blood pressure and the heart rate return to normal level.
Although the procedure carries certain risks, but it helps the patient to prevent coronary heart disease, since patient may not have symptoms at rest.
This non-invasive procedure can discover the deadly disease, under medical staff monitoring with sufficient medical equipment.
Stuart RJ Jr, Ellestad MH. National survey of exercise stress testing facilities. Chest. 1980;77(1):94 97.