While a regular echocardiogram provides graphical information of the heart at rest, the stress echocardiogram helps evaluate the strength of the heart muscle when the heart is under strain, and also determine the effectiveness of on-going cardiac treatment.
A stress echocardiogram is a non-invasive cardiac test that is administered to patients whose heart health is in question. The procedure involves the induction of a stress test to stimulate a strained environment within the heart. Through two-dimensional images of information obtained via ultrasound waves, the physician is able to monitor the functioning of the heart and detect malfunctioning due to a limited supply of blood or oxygen.
A stress echocardiogram is advised as part of a physical examination for patients who have been experiencing chest pains or angina) or receiving a cardiac rehabilitation plan after a cardia arrest. It is also performed for patients indicated with heart surgery, as it helps examine:
Once the stress test is done, it gives real-time results that are interpreted by the Cardiologist to catch an issue with the strength of the heart muscle or determine the extent of an existing problem. The findings also help evaluate the current course of treatment for heart disease or determine a new plan for an effective management of the condition.
Before scheduling a stress test, your doctor evaluates if the consumption of certain cardiac or blood pressure medications should temporarily be discontinued. Patients are advised to:
The stress test is administered in two phases i.e. when the body is at rest and in motion. The procedure begins with the placement of electrodes on the chest, arms, and legs, and a blood pressure cuff on the hand of the patient. These arrangements are made in order to record cardiac electrical activity as well as blood flow and oxygen supply to and from the heart.
The first phase commences when the doctor moves an ultrasound transducer over the patient’s chest, emitting sound waves directly to the heart. Whereas, the second portion requires the patient to exercise by walking on a treadmill and speeding up the activity with brief intervals. The duration of this phase depends upon the age and fitness level of a patient.
The test is stopped when the heartbeat at a targeted rate is achieved, or fatigue, chest pain, or blood pressure interrupts with the physical activity of the patient. In both cases, the patient`s blood pressure and heart rate are measured that allows the comparison of heart functioning at rest and during exercise. The findings enable the doctor to determine whether the heart experiences difficulty by functioning due to an inadequate supply of blood or oxygen and detect which section of the heart muscle malfunctions under stress.
Stress echocardiogram plays a significant role in diagnosing coronary artery disease, evaluating risks for heart attacks beforehand, preventing future cardiovascular complications, and creating or making necessary amendments in the cardiac treatment plan.
If you search for a trusted service-provider for stress echo and stress test in Dubai, we encourage you to book an appointment with our highly experienced heart-care specialists (Cardiologists) at American Hospital Dubai – a leading medical service facility equipped with advanced tools and technology for the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of cardiovascular diseases.
Arabic, English, French