Echocardiography uses sound waves to produce an image of the heart and to see how it is functioning. A stress echocardiography enables the doctor to see the wall motion of the heart’s pumping chambers before and after exercise. The test can show if certain areas of the heart muscle are not getting enough oxygen-rich blood and not working properly.
If your doctor prescribes a stress echocardiogram, you will have the same test as an exercise stress test, except that when your heart rate reaches a certain number you will be asked to step off the treadmill or stationary bike and lie down. Once you lie down, ultrasound images will be taken of your heart.
For patients who are too sick to exercise, doctors can administer a drug that has the same effect as exercise, increasing the heart rate. Some examples of the drugs that may be given are dobutamine or adenosine. This type of test is also called a dobutamine stress echo.
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For additional information or to schedule a stress echocardiogram, please contact us at 973.754.2310.