Home Locate Us Contact Us
Queensland Cardiology
 
Services
Dobutamine Stress Echo Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram
 

What is a Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram

A dobutamine stress echo is a non-invasive test used to evaluate the function of the heart while it is subjected to stress. The heart will be 'stressed' by a medication called Dobutamine.

Dobutamine affects the heart in a similar manner to exercise. It increases the heart rate and blood pressure and makes the heart beat stronger. The rise in heart rate increases the oxygen demand of the heart and helps to determine if the heart muscle is getting enough blood and oxygen.

What preparation is needed?

  • Do not eat or drink for 6 hours before your appointment.
  • Wear comfortable clothing (you will be lying on your side for approximately 30 minutes).
  • Any medications should be taken with a sip of water.
  • Please notify the day prior to the test if you are a diabetic.
  • Due to the nature of the test. It is advised that you have someone to drive you home after the test has been completed.

How is it done?

The test will be performed while lying on a bed. After preparing the skin, Electrodes will be placed on your chest to monitor your ECG and a blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm.

An intravenous line (small needle) will be placed in your hand so that the Dobutamine can be administered. Uncommonly, other medications may be required in order to increase or decrease the heart rate.
The dose of Dobutamine starts very low and will gradually be increased until your heart rate has reached a minimum of 85% of its maximal level, or sooner if the test is positive.

During the test you will be lying on your left side and images of your heart will be taken before, during and after the Dobutamine infusion.

How long will it take?

The entire test usually takes approximately 50-60 minutes. The drug infusion usually lasts less than 20 minutes. The effect of the Dobutamine will have worn off by the time you leave the testing room.

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 rhythm (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).
  • Reaction to Dobutamine.
  • Drip site infection.
  • Mild headache due to the Dobutamine is possible but usually resolves quickly.
  • Death is rare (1 in 10,000 people).

These risks will be explained to you again by a doctor or scientist 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