Stress Echocardiogram: What you should know

  • Accessible to all patients
  • Accessible to all patients
  • By appointment only
  • By appointment only
  • Covered by most private insurance plans
  • Covered by most private insurance plans
  • Medical referral required
  • Medical referral required
  • Service not available via telemedicine
  • Service not available via telemedicine

Booking & Clinic Details

The test is first performed while you are at rest and then while exercising at low, medium and high intensity on a stationary bicycle, treadmill or by using dobutamine, a drug that simulates the effects of exercise on the heart.

Our cardiologists are experts in performing the most state-of-the-art procedures and use the latest technology to ensure that you get the most accurate diagnosis possible.

Your doctor may recommend a stress echocardiogram to assess any of the following:

  • Evaluation of obstructive coronary heart disease
  • Evaluation of pulmonary hypertension or arrhythmias caused by exercise
  • Heart failure
  • Assessment of conduction disorder
  • Assessment of physical capacity, for instance, in people with congenital heart disease or as part of sports medicine, etc.

How is a stress echocardiogram performed?

The technician explains the procedure and answers your questions. You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up and put on a hospital gown. Electrodes will be placed on your chest to record the electrical activity of your heart.

The technician will then ask you to lie on your left side, before applying a gel to a small ultrasound probe and placing it on the left side of your chest. The technician will apply painless pressure to the probe in order to get good image quality. They will record images of your heart, while measuring your heart rate, blood pressure, and your heart’s electrical activity at rest.

A stress echocardiogram will then be performed using either a stationary bike or a treadmill. If you cannot exercise on a stationary bike or treadmill, you will be given dobutamine (a drug that simulates the effects of exercise on the heart) for 15 to 20 minutes, until your heart reaches the target heart rate. The technician will monitor your heart rate and blood pressure, while recording several images of your heart.

A full report will be sent to your referring physician once it has been reviewed by your cardiologist.

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