Treadmill Stress Echocardiogram

 

 

An echocardiogram is a painless, harmless test that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to display a moving image of your heart onto a video screen in order to examine the heart's anatomy and function.

The stress test evaluates your heart's response to physical activity through the monitoring of heart rate, blood pressure, and electrocardiograms while you exercise on a treadmill. 

A exercise treadmill stress echocardiogram, commonly referred to as a stress echo, is a combination of a stress test and an echocardiogram. This is an excellent test for not only detecting significant coronary artery disease but to also evaluate the size, function, and structures of your heart. There are many questions that a stress echo can answer such as:

 

  • The presence of significant coronary artery disease

  • Blood pressure response to exercise

  • Abnormalities with your heart's electrical activity

  • Fitness level

  • Heart size

  • Systolic (squeezing) and diastolic (filling) function

  • Structural heart abnormlities (heart valves and chambers)

  • Aortic size

 

 

Unlike a plain stress test there is imaging involved with a stress echo, which increases accuracy. Because of this a stress echo is a more commonly ordered test for detecting significant coronary artery disease and is typically performed on someone who is:

 

  • Having chest pain which is suspicous for coronary artery disease

  • Having shortness of breath more than what is expected with exercise

  • Having palpitations

  • Placed in a medium to high pre-test risk catagory for having significant coronary artery disease, this includes:

    • Strong family history of heart disease

    • Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels

    • Abnormal resting electrocardiogram

  • Older males and females of any age

 

 

A stress echo is a very safe test to perform. The risk of having a serious complication (heart attack or death) is less than 1 in 10,000. Keep in mind that you will be continously monitored throughout the test by experienced personnel and the test will be stopped if there is any indication that continuing would be unsafe.

 

 

Click on the link below for stress echo details and preparation

 

Stress Echo Details and Preparartion

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