Stress Echo

What Is It?

A Stress echo is an exercise test involving ultrasound images of the heart.

How Is It Done?

A patient has dots attached to the chest to record an ECG. An ultrasound image of the heart is then taken with the patient at rest. This shows the heart working. The patient is the exercised usually on a treadmill under supervision of a doctor and technician. During exercise the heart is continually monitored. When the exercise is completed another set of ultrasound images of the heart are taken, with these images being compared to the original images to assess for any changes bought on by the heart working harder.

Why Is It Done?

A stress echo is performed to assess whether there may be heart artery blockages or to assess the response to treatment. It can also be used to assess the effect of exercise on heart muscle and heart valve function.