Stress echocardiogram is a diagnostic procedure combining : an Echocardiogram (as described above), which uses high frequency sound waves to assess motion of the heart muscle; and a Stress test, which assesses the capacity and reserve of heart muscle function under stressful situations or exercise conditions. As your heart pumps harder and faster when stressed, and exercise stress test can reveal problems with blood flow in your heart.
A stress test usually involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike while your blood pressure and breathing are monitored. The Echocardiography employs an ultrasound machine to measure the blood flow pattern before, during and after your heart has been stressed. The information obtained will help the doctor to indirectly assess the status of blood supply to the heart muscle. It also provides indirect information on the viability and the function of the heart muscle. This information is important and vital to the doctor in planning further appropriate measures and treatment for you.
At Ascension Heart, we use the treadmill test for an exercise stress echocardiogram