Exercise Stress Echocardiogram

What is an Exercise Stress Echocardiogram?

An exercise stress echocardiogram is the combination of an exercise stress test and an echocardiogram.  A standard treadmill stress test is performed and then immedieately followed by an echocardiogram at peak exercise.  The purpose of the echocardiogram is to look directly at the pumping function of the heart, and how the heart muscle responds to increased work.

Why is it ordered?

The most common reason is for evaluation of heart function and valvular function during exercise.  Directly looking at how the heart muscle responds to increased work, using echocardiography, we can detect evidence of  coronary artery disease or other valvular disorders.  

What can I expect the day of my test?

  • No food for 4 hours before your test

  • Adhesive patches will be placed on your skin to monitor your electrocardiogram.

  • An echocardiogram will be performed before your heart is stressed with exercise. 

  • You will then undergo a routine treadmill stress test.

  • At peak exercise, you will be asked to transition back to a stretcher so another echocardiogram can be done on your heart during stress post exercise.