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Stress Echo

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Stress Echocardiography, or stress echo, is an exercise test that helps your doctor see how well your heart pumps when made to beat harder. Harmless sound waves bounce off your heart. The sound waves show the structure and movement of your heart before and immediately after exercise. By comparing the images taken before and after the exercise, your doctor can see any changes in the way your heart muscle works when under the stress of exercise.

How Stress Echo Works

During a stress echo, a transducer (a small device that produces sound waves) is placed on your chest both before and immediately after you exercise. The sound waves bounce off your heart and are changed into images on a video screen. The doctor compares the two images to detect any changes in the way your heart responds when you exert yourself.

During Your Stress Echo

After you arrive, you'll be asked to undress from the waist up. Women are give a hospital gown to wear. A technician places a painless transducer at various places on the left side of your chest. Then pictures of your heart at rest are recorded on videotape. Your blood pressure is also monitored, and electrodes are attached to your chest to record an EKG.

Next, you are asked to walk on a treadmill until your heart is beating rapidly. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from exercising, your heart may be increased with medication instead of exercise. This is normally done in a hospital setting.

Finally, a technician records a second set of video images of your heart immediately after you finish exercising. The doctor can then display the two sets of images side by side to compare the way your heart functions at rest and after exercise.

To learn more or to contact our practice, please call 407.894.4474 to request an appointment.