It uses sound waves to create images of the heart. The images determine the size of the heart, strength of the heart muscles, presence of heart diseases, and heart valve malfunctions. The images of the heart are shown on the large screen monitor that allows the doctor and the patient to view during examination
Stress Echo Testing
Stress test, also called treadmill test is used to determine the functioning of heart and ability to withstand the stress during exercise or physical stress. It usually involves walking on a treadmill, while your electrocardiogram, heart rate, and blood pressure are monitored.
Your physician may recommend an exercise stress test to
- Evaluate coronary artery disease
- Diagnose the causes for chest pain
- Identify abnormal heart rhythms
- Identify if you had an heart attack
- Assess other problems, such as heart valve diseases
- Assess if you had a heart procedure in the past such as angioplasty or heart bypass surgery
Electrodes using conductive patches will be placed on the specific areas of the chest to record your heart function. Before you start exercising, your heart rate and blood pressure are measured at rest. The blood pressure is measured throughout the test. You will begin walking on a treadmill. Gradually the intensity of the exercise is increased, by increasing the speed and incline of the treadmill. The test is stopped after reaching a target heart rate. During this time, your heart rate, electrocardiogram (ECG, and blood pressure are monitored.
Some patients may rarely experience chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath and severe fatigue during the test.
You may be instructed not to eat, smoke or drink alcohol several hours before the test. You may be asked to wear comfortable clothes during the test. Do not discontinue any medications without consulting your doctor. Certain medications that may interfere with stress test are often avoided.
Abnormal test results may be due to coronary heart disease, arrhythmias, lack of physical fitness, or stress on the heart increased by exercise.