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Heart Disease Health Center

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Why It Is Done continued...

A transthoracic echocardiogram may also be used to:

Stress echocardiogram

A stress echo may be done to:

  • Identify and monitor reduced blood flow to heart muscle (ischemia). This is usually more apparent after some form of stress, such as exercise or medicine.

Doppler echocardiogram

A Doppler echocardiogram can be done during a transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE), a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), or a stress echocardiogram to:

  • Measure the speed at which blood travels through the heart.
  • Measure the blood pressure and speed of blood flow through the heart valves.

Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)

Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) may be done to:

  • Monitor heart function during surgery.
  • Check how well an artificial heart valve works.
  • Look for masses or blood clots in the upper left chamber (left atrium) of the heart.
  • Identify abnormal blood flow between the chambers of the heart (cardiac shunt).
  • Help find out if you have endocarditis, which is an infection of the heart's valves or its inner lining (endocardium).
  • Guide procedures done during cardiac catheterization.
  • Help find out if you have a tear in the aorta (aortic dissection).

How To Prepare

Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) and Doppler echocardiogram

You do not need any special preparation for a transthoracic or Doppler echocardiogram.

Stress echocardiogram

Do not eat heavily for a few hours before a stress echo to help prevent nausea. You may feel nauseated if you exercise with a full stomach or from the injection of dobutamine.

Wear flat, comfortable shoes (no bedroom slippers or sandals) and loose, lightweight shorts or sweatpants for an exercise stress echo.

Ask your doctor whether you should take your regular medicines as usual. Tell your doctor if you take insulin.

Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)

Do not eat or drink for at least 6 hours before the TEE.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 13, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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