What is an excersie stress echo test?
An echocardiogram (often called an "echo") is a graphic outline of the heart's movement, valves and chambers created from high-frequency sound waves that come from a hand-held wand place on your chest. Echo is often combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to evaluate blood flow across the heart's valves.
Detemine how well your heart tolerates activites:
Evaluate the function of your heart and valves :
Determine your likelihood of having coronary artery disease (blocked arteries):
Evaluate the efectivness of your cardiac treatment plan.
Can I eat or drink on the day of the test?
Yes. However, DO NOT eat or drink anything except water For 4 hours before the test.
Should i take my medications the day of the test?
DO NOT take the following heart medications ont he day of your test unless your physician tells you otherwise or if the medication is needed to treat your chest discomfort:
Bete blockers (for example: atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol ( Lopresser, Toprol), Propranolol (Inderal)
Isosorbide dinitrate (for example: Isordil, Sorbitrate)
Nitroglycerine (for example: Nitrostate, Niropatches)
|YOUR PHYSICIAN ALSO ASK YOU TO STOP TAKING OTHER HEART MEDIVATIONS ON THE DAY OF THE TEST. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR MEDICATIONS, ASK YOUR PHYSICIAN.|
|NOTE: DO NOT DISCOUNTINUE ANY MEDICATION WIHTOUT FIRST TALKING WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN!!!|
Guidelines for people with diabetes
if you take insuline to control your blood sugar, ask your physician what amount of your medication you should take the day of the test.
Often, your physician will tell you to take only half of your usual morning dose and to eat a light meal 4 hours before the test.
DO NOT take your diabetes medication and skip a meal before the test. if you own a glucose moniter, bring it with you to check your blood suger levels before and after your excercise stress test. if you think that your blood suger is low, tell the lab personnel immediatly. Plan to eat and take your blood sugar medication following your stress test.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR ON THE DAY OF TEST?
A cardiac sonographer will gently rub 10 small areas on your chest and place electrodes (small, flat, sticky, pacthes) on theses areas. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiograph moniter (EKG) that charts your hearts electrical activity during the test.
Before you start excercising, the sonographer will preform a resting EKG, measure your resting heart rate and take your blood pressure.
The sosnographer will ask you to lie on your left side on an exam table so he or she can preform a resting echocardiogram (also called "echo"). An echocardiogram is a graphic outline of the hearts structures. The tecncian will place a wand (CALLED a TRANSDUCER) on your chest so the physician can see the outline of the heart's movement. This should not hurt.
After the echo test, you will execercise either on a treadmill or a stationary bicycle.
The lab personnal will ask you to start execersing and gradually increase your rate of excercise. You will be asked to execise very hard until you are exhausted.
At regular intervals, the lab personnel will ask how are you feeling. Please tell them if you feel chest,arm, or jaw pain or discomfort, short of breath, dizzy, lightheaded or if you have unusual symptoms.
The lab personnel will wacth for changes on the EKG moniter that suggest the test should be stopped.
When you cannot execercise any longer, you will get off the treadmill* , quickly return to the exam table and lie on your left side so the the sonographer can preform another echocardiogram.
Your heart rate, blood pressure and EKG will continue to be monitored after execersing until the levels are returning to normal.
HOW WILL I FEEL DURING THE TEST?
You will be encouraged to execercise untol you are exhaused. It is normal for your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and perspiration to increase. This information will allow your physician to assess your heart's ability to funtion. As you stop execersing suddenly, it is normal to feel a little unsteady when getting off the treadmill and onto the exam table for the echocardiogram.
IF YOU BEGIN TO NOTICECHEST DISCOMFORT, EXCESSIVE SHORTNESS OF BREATH, LIGHT-HEADEDNESS, AND IRREGULAR HEARTBEATS OR OTHER SYMPTOMS OF CONCERN, TELL THE STRESS LAB PERSONNEL IMMEDIATELY!!!
How long does the test take?
the appointment will take about 60 minutes. the actual execercise time is usually between 7 and 12 minutes.
how do i get the results of my test?
After the cardiologist reviews your test, the results will be discussed with you.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us at the above numbers.
Toronto Heart Center Staff