What is an Exercise Stress Echocardiogram?
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?
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
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:
St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside
North Medical Suites, Green Lifts Level 3,
627 Rode Road
Chermside Q 4032
(07) 3861 5522