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Stress Echocardiogram

What is Stress Echocardiogram? - By Dr. Kedar Kulkarni

What is Stress Echocardiogram by Dr. Kedar Kulkarni. This process is done while you exercise on a treadmill or stationary bicycle. This test can show the motion of the heart’s walls and the heart’s pumping action when it’s stressed. It can show a lack of blood flow that isn’t always seen on other heart tests. The echo is performed just before and after the exercise.

What are the risks associated with stress echocardiogram?

This test is safe and noninvasive. Complications are rare, but can include:

  • Dizziness or fainting
  • An abnormal heart rhythm
  • Heart attack
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How do I prepare for stress echocardiogram?

This test usually occurs in an echocardiography laboratory or echo lab, but it can also occur in your doctor’s office or other medical settings. It normally takes between 45 and 60 minutes.

Before you take the test, you should do the following:

  • Make sure not to eat or drink anything for three to four hours before the test.
  • Don’t smoke on the day of the test because nicotine can interfere with your heart rate.
  • Don’t drink coffee or take any medications that contain caffeine without checking with your doctor.
  • If you take medications, ask your doctor whether you should take them on the day of the test. You shouldn’t take certain heart medications, such as beta-blockers, isosorbide-dinitrate, isosorbide-mononitrate (Isordil Titradose), and nitroglycerin, before the test. Let your doctor know if you take medication to control diabetes as well.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. Because you will exercise, make sure to wear good walking or running shoes.