Exercise Stress Echocardiography

ExitCare ImageAn exercise echocardiogram is a test to see how well your heart can tolerate physical activity. You will need to walk on a treadmill for this test. An echocardiogram looks at how the heart moves. An exercise echocardiogram is also called a stress echocardiogram. While doing this test, your doctor will check to see if:

  • You have chest pain.

  • You have problems breathing.

  • You become dizzy or feel like you will pass out (faint).

  • You have problems with high or low blood pressure during the test.

BEFORE THE TEST

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 6 hours before the test or as told by your doctor.

  • Do not eat or drink foods with caffeine for 24 hours before the test.

  • Do not smoke on the day of your test.

  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes you can walk in. You will wear a hospital gown from the waist up.

  • Ask your doctor what medicines you should or should not take before the test.

TEST

  • You will be hooked up to a monitor to watch your heart rate.

  • An echocardiogram will be done before and after you walk on a treadmill. For an echocardiogram:

  • A clear gel is placed on your chest.

  • A wand-like device is moved over the gel on your chest.

  • Pictures are then taken using sound waves that come from the wand.

  • Your doctor will have you walk on a treadmill. How long you walk depends on your physical condition and the condition of your heart.

  • Your doctor will want to know right away if you have any of the following during the test:

  • Chest pain.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Dizziness.

AFTER THE TEST

Finding out the results of your test

Ask when your test results will be ready. Make sure you get your test results.