Home Locate Us Contact Us
Queensland Cardiology
 
Services
Exercise Stress Echocardiogram Exercise Stress
Echocardiogram
 

What is an Exercise Stress Echocardiogram?

An exercise stress echo is a non-invasive test used to evaluate the function of the heart while it is subjected to stress. This is achieved by walking on a treadmill.

Exercise increases the heart rate and blood pressure and makes the heart beat stronger. The rise in heart rate increases the oxygen demands of the heart and helps us to determine if the heart muscle is getting enough blood supply through the coronary arteries.

What preparation is needed?

  • Please do not eat, drink or smoke for three hours before your test.
  • Wear comfortable shoes (e.g joggers) and shorts/pants or a skirt. A gown will be provided.
  • Cease taking beta blocker medications for 24 hours prior to your appointment (see list below), unless your doctor advises otherwise. These drugs will prevent your heart rate from increasing.
  • Take all other usual medications with a sip of water.
  • Please notify us when booking if you are diabetic.

You may prefer to bring someone to drive you home but this is not a medical requirement.

How is it done?

Electrodes will be placed on your chest to monitor your ECG and a blood pressure cuff placed on your arm.

Ultrasound pictures will be taken of your heart before exercise while you are lying on your left side.

You will then be instructed to walk on a treadmill, beginning very slowly and increasing in speed and slope every 3 minutes.

You will exercise quite hard and the test will stop when we reach the desired heart rate for your age or sooner if you are fatigued, have chest pain or shortness of breath.

Your blood pressure, pulse rate & ECG will be monitored throughout the test by a doctor and if we are worried about these the test will be stopped.

Once the exercise has stopped repeat ultrasound pictures will be taken, lying on your side, while your pulse rate remains high.

You will then rest until your heart rate has recovered.

How long will it take?

The entire test usually takes approximately 50-60 minutes.

Beta Blocker medications patients need to stop for this test
Anselol
Atehexal
Atenolol
Barbloc
Bicor
Bisoprolol
Betaloc
Blocadren
Brevibloc
Cardol
Corbeton
Deralin
Dilatrend (Carvedilol)
Inderal
Lopresor
Metohexal
Metoprolol
Minax
Nebilet
Noten
Pindolol
Propanolol
Sotacor
Sotahexal
Sotalol
Tenlol
Tenormin
Tensig
Toprol
Visken

What are the risks?

  • Abnormal heart beat (3 in 1000 people). We are equipped to deal with these situations.
  • Chest pain (3 in 1000 people). This can be treated with drugs.
  • Heart attack (4 in 10,000 people).
  • Death (1 in 10,000 people).

These risks will be explained to you again by a doctor when you attend the appointment and you will have ample opportunity to discuss any queries or concerns.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at:

Queensland Cardiology
Holy Spirit Northside Hospital
Suite 18, Level 3
Rode Road, CHERMSIDE
Ph (07) 38615522

Services
 
Procedures
 
Patient-information
 
 
Referral Forms News Guidelines