(Approximately 30 minutes duration)
Why do I need this test?
The stress echocardiogram is used to detect any heart disease that may otherwise not be apparent without exercise. Your doctor may recommend this test for the following reasons:
- Chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or light-headedness
- Suspect coronary artery disease (CAD), where narrowed or blocked blood vessels can lead to poor oxygenation and blood flow to the heart
What can I expect during the test?
- The test takes roughly 30 minutes
- An ECG and ultrasound is performed prior to exercise
- You will exercise on the treadmill, where your ECG, heart rate and blood pressure is constantly monitored
- Once you have reached the target heart rate, you will be quickly moved to the echocardiogram bed
- An ultrasound is performed, and the pre- and post-exercise images are compared for any abnormalities
What are the risks of the test?
• The test will be stopped if you have chest pain, become very tired or very short of breath.
• Rare risks of the test (less than 1%) include an abnormal heartbeat, build-up of fluid in the lungs, chest pain or heart attack. Death as a result of this test is extremely rare.
How do I prepare for the test?
It is very important that you adhere to the following preparation:
- No heavy meals 2 hours before the test
- No caffeine such as tea, coffee or chocolate on the day (water is fine)
- Wear comfortable shoes and two-piece clothing for walking on the treadmill
- Certain medications for your heart and blood pressure need to be stopped
STOP THESE MEDICATIONS 48 HOURS BEFORE THE TEST
Beta-blockers: These drugs lower blood pressure, regulate heart rate and improve heart function
Atenolol, Bisoprolol, Carvedilol, Flecinide, Ivabradine, Labetolol, Metoprolol, Nebivolol, Oxprenolol, Pindolol, Propanolol & Sotalol
Anselol, Atehexal, Felodipine, Noten, Tenormin, Bicor, Dilatrend, Kredex, Tambacor, Coralan, Presolol, Trandate, Betaloc, Lopresor, Metohexal, Metolol, Metrol, Minax, Toprol-XL, Nebilate, Corbeton, Barbloc, Visken, Deralin, Inderal, Cardol, Solavert, Sotab, Sotacor & Sotahexal
Calcium Channel Blockers: These drugs lower blood pressure and prevent chest pain
Auscard, Cardizem, Coras, Diltahexal, Dilzem, Vascocardol, Anpec, Cordilox, Isoptin, Vercaps, Verhexal
Disclaimer: Please stop the above medications UNLESS your referring doctor has told you otherwise. If you are unsure, you may ask your referring doctor and then let us know.