An echocardiogram (also called an echo) is a type of ultrasound test that uses high-pitched sound waves that are sent through a device called a transducer. The device picks up echoes of the sound waves as they bounce off the different parts of your heart. These echoes are turned into moving pictures of your heart that can be seen on a video screen.
Stress Echocardiogram is a highly specialized test, and although it involves similar elements to an ordinary exercise test and an echocardiogram, it provides very specific information about the heart in a non-invasive way.
A Stress Echo is made up of three parts: A resting Echo study, Stress test, and a repeat Echo while the heart is still beating fast.
Preparing for Echocardiography Procedures – What do you need to do?
You should dress comfortably for exercise. You should wear a top that you can easily remove and exercise shoes. Fasting is not essential, but it is advisable that you not eat a large meal prior to the test as this may lead to an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach or nausea.
Stress Echo/Treadmill Instruction
- DO NOT TAKE ‘beta-blockers’ for at least 24 hours before your test. Please see list below for the list of beta-blockers.
- Please do not eat a heavy meal 2 hours prior to the test because you will be on a treadmill.
- Wear or bring comfortable sneakers and clothes.
- Do not use body creams or oils the day of your test.
- Please arrive at the above stated time and check in on the 3rd floor of Wake Internal Medicine.
- There may be a wait for your stress echo to be done. Appointment times vary depending on the person ahead of you. To schedule an appointment online, click here.
About the test:
During your procedure, a set of echo (ultrasound) images will be obtained before you start exercising. The images show us how well the heart is pumping. We start you on a treadmill and once you reach a target heart rate, we stop the treadmill and another set of ultrasound images are obtained after stress. We then compare the before and after images of your heart.
For more information about echocardiography or our other cardiology services, contact our Raleigh, NC office.
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