What is a Stress Echocardiogram?

A Stress Echocardiogram combines a standard Exercise Stress Test with an Echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound). The test will commence with an ultrasound of the heart while at rest, you are then required to walk on a treadmill with speed and incline increasing every three minutes to stress the heart. Immediately following the exercise part of the test another Echocardiogram is taken to assess the heart function under stress and while in recovery. From these images, the size, function and structure of your heart muscle and valves can be assessed both before and after exercise. It can also provide information about the pressures within your heart and lungs.

Your blood pressure and heart rate will also be taken at various times throughout the test.

How do I prepare for the Stress Echocardiogram?

There are some simple preparations for this test;
  • you can have a light meal prior to your test, and if you need to take any medications, these may be taken with a sip of water
  • you will need to refrain from smoking for two hours prior to the test
  • please wear comfortable clothing and footwear for the treadmill portion of the test
  • you will need to cease taking the following medications prior to the test

Stop these medications two (2) full days prior to your test;

  • Alprenolol (Aptin)
  • Atenolol (Tenormin, Noten)
  • Bisoprolol (Bicor)
  • Carvedilol (Dilatrend, Kredex)
  • Metroprolol (Succinate, Tartrate, Betaloc, Lopressor, Minax, Toprol)
  • Nebivolol (Nebilet)
  • Oxprenolol (Corbeton, Trasicor)
  • Pindolol (Barbloc, Visken)
  • Propranolol (Deralin, Inderal, Cardinol)
  • Sotalol (Sotacor)

Stop these medications one (1) full day prior to your test;

  • Verapamil (Isoptim, Veradil, Anpec, Cordilox, Tarka Veracaps SR)
  • Diliazem (Cardizem, Cardizem CD)
  • Nitrates (Transiderm, Nitro patches, Nitro-dur, Imdur, Isordil)

You will also be required to sign a patient consent form on the day of your test

When will I receive my results?

A Cardiologist will review your images and will generally complete their report on the day of your test. The results of your test will be sent to your referring doctor for discussion. If you will be seeing your doctor within 24 hours of having the test, please advise the Nepean Cardiology staff.

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