Please do not consume caffeine 12 hours prior to the stress test appointment. This includes caffeinated drinks (soda, coffee, tea, etc.), decaffeinated coffee or tea, energy drinks, chocolate, etc. If you have any caffeine, we will have to reschedule your test.
No smoking 2 hours prior to the test.
Wear comfortable clothing including walking/running shoes.
You may eat before the test, but we recommend eating light.
About the Test
A stress echo is a test that combines an ultrasound of your heart and an exercise stress test. This test is used to look at how your heart muscle functions while being exerted.
At the start of the test, women will be asked to change into a gown and men will be asked to remove their shirt. Electrodes will be attached to your chest along with electrocardiogram (EKG) wires and a blood pressure cuff will be applied to your arm.
An EKG will be done at rest and your blood pressure will be taken in three different positions. An echocardiogram (Echo) will be also be done before you begin exercising.
Once those are complete, you will begin the exercise portion of the test. You will get on the treadmill and begin walking. The speed and elevation will gradually incline every few minutes.
Your blood pressure, heart rate and an EKG will be taken multiple times throughout the test. The goal is to have you reach a specific heart rate, but if you are experiencing unwanted symptoms or fatigue, you may request to stop.
When you finish the exercise portion, you will be asked to quickly lie down so that an echo can be taken of your heart right after being exerted. Those pictures will be compared to the ones taken at rest to see how your heart responds to exertion.
After the Test
Once the test is complete you will be able to drive home. The physician will review the test, and the results will be provided to you at your next appointment or by phone.