Stress Echocardiography Test

Introduction

A stress echocardiography is a kind of ultrasound test that is done to diagnose heart diseases. It helps in determining, how your heart muscles will respond to the stress. This test is generally done when you already have some known heart conditions. It is mainly done to diagnose and evaluate coronary artery diseases.

Other names for the test

This test is also known as echocardiography stress test and stress test – echocardiography.

How the test is done?

  • First of all a resting echocardiogram will be done.
  • To reach the target heart rate you will exercise or you will be given some medicine. Trade mill or cycling is given generally. It is done to know that how your heart works when you are active.
  • While doing all this blood pressure and heart rhythm (ECG) will be checked continuously.
  • Ultrasound images are taken and recorded during this procedure.
  • The other echocardiogram is taken just after you reach your targeted heart rate.
  • By doing all this ultrasound will reveal that which part of your body is not getting proper blood or oxygen because of the blockage in arteries.

Some times person is not able to reach the targeted heart rate then in that case he is given medicine through veins to make heart beat faster same as the time you exercise to reach the target.

How to prepare for test?

Few things should be kept in mind before going for any type of heart test

  • Ask your health care advisor about heart medicine or any other type of medication whether to take or not to take before test.
  • Do not eat or drink anything at least three hours before the test.
  • You should wear comfortable and loose clothes. Wear comfortable shoes so that you can exercise comfortably.
  • Before test an explanation will be given to you and you will be asked to sign consent.
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How much time does the entire test take?

Stress echocardiography test takes around one and a half or two hours for the entire test including the preparation, stress test and the echo imaging.

Is this test safe?

There are no adverse effects found from the ultrasound during the time of echo imaging. The risk in this test is very rare and it can be similar to what you can have from any strenuous exercise like jogging or running up a flight of upstairs. Person can have rare complications like unrelieved chest pain, abnormal heart rhythm or even a heart attack but these problems are very rare and experienced medical staff is capable to manage it.

Reliability of test

If the patient reaches the targeted heart rate and images in the ultrasound is clear then this test is really helpful in diagnosing heart diseases in most of the patients.

Important

The main benefit of the test is this that it reveals whether your all arteries are getting enough blood and oxygen or not. If not then you can get your treatment started before getting problem more complicated.

If you already have this problem then this test shows whether blood flow is stable or not.