Stress Echo

One of the most modern heart ultrasound techniques that detects myocardial damage.

Stress Echo is one of the most modern diagnostic tests, for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease and the demonstration of myocardial viability and inotropic reserve. It is a quick and safe test and is performed with a protocol of dobutamine loading and administration of an echo contrast agent (specific contrast agent).

What is Stress Echo?

It is a reliable and safe test that provides important information about the function of the myocardium and heart valves under stress conditions. It is usually performed to investigate coronary artery disease and to assess valve disease and heart failure.

How is it done?

The test is similar to heart triplex ultrasound (echo) but is performed during stress, either by exercising the subject on a rolling mat or by administering a drug that causes an increase in heart rate. Drug-induced fatigue is usually preferred, which is achieved by administering dobutamine and simultaneously recording the electrocardiogram and blood pressure.

Will I feel pain or discomfort?

You may feel your heart beating loud and fast but it will not be painful or uncomfortable.

How long does it last?

The test usually takes about 40 minutes.

Is there any preparation?

  • Before the test, consult your cardiologist about possibly stopping any medication 2 days before the test. These are usually drugs that reduce the heart rate such as beta-blockers. However, it is important not to stop a medicine on your own.
  • You can have a light meal 2-3 hours before the test.
  • Avoid drinking coffee and smoking a few hours before the test.
  • It is advisable to provide some information about your medical history (note from your doctor/previous tests/conclusion of previous coronary angiography or surgery) and information about the medication you are taking.

 Is it a dangerous test?

The stress echo is a very safe test and the risk is very low. Dobutamine is a drug that is usually well tolerated by the body, but there is very little chance of brief episodes of arrhythmia, chest discomfort or dizziness, so the necessary measures will be taken by the doctor. As for the contrast agent used, it has no biochemical affinity with the contrast agents of other tests such as CT and MRI. Allergic reactions are extremely rare and it is not toxic to the kidneys or other organs. In any case, the test is performed in a properly equipped laboratory and by qualified cardiologists with extensive experience in the test.

What happens after the test?

After the test is completed, the pulse returns to normal levels within a few minutes. You will be asked to remain in the waiting area for approximately 30 minutes. You can then leave and return to your daily schedule with the only restriction being to avoid drinking coffee for approximately 2 hours.