PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What happens during a stress echocardiogram?

ANSWER

Before your stress echo, a technician will gently rub several small areas on your chest and place electrodes (small, flat, sticky patches) on these areas. The electrodes are attached to an EKG that charts your heart's electrical activity during the test. If you are getting a stress test with medication, an IV will be put into a vein in your arm so medication (such as dobutamine) can be delivered directly into your bloodstream. The technician will perform a resting EKG, measure your resting heart rate, and take your blood pressure. The doctor or nurse will put the medication into the IV while the technician continues to get echo images. The medication will cause your heart to react as if you were exercising. At regular intervals, the lab personnel will ask how you are feeling. The lab personnel will watch for any changes on the EKG that suggest the test should be stopped. The IV will be removed from your arm once all of the medication has entered your bloodstream. The medication may cause a warm, flushing feeling and in some cases, a mild headache. If you begin to notice these or other symptoms of concern like chest discomfort, shortness of breath, or irregular heartbeats, tell the lab personnel immediately. If the test is done on a treadmill or arm ergometer, you will perform exercise until you are fatigued, you reach your target heart rate, or you have symptoms. During activity, your blood pressure will be regularly checked. An echo will be done before and after exertion, and the images will be compared.

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Heart Failure."

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: "Explore Echocardiography."

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on January 23, 2017

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Heart Failure."

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute: "Explore Echocardiography."

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on January 23, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What happens during a transesophageal echocardiogram?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.