Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram

A Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram, or Dobutamine Stress Echo, is used to evaluate your heart function when it is “stressed.” In this case, because you may not be able to walk on a treadmill or exercise long enough to “stress” your heart, you will be given a medication to make your heart beat faster and stronger. We use ultrasound images before, during and after you receive this medication to help your doctor look at your heart function.

What to Expect During the Test

An IV (intravenous) line will be started in a vein in your arm to give you the dobutamine medication. During this time, an electrocardiogram (EKG) will measure the electrical activity of your heart. You may feel a mild headache, shaky, and warm or flushed when the dobutamine is being given. You will also feel your heart start to beat faster and harder; this is normal.

This test takes approximately two hours. You will be asked to stay for approximately 30 minutes following the test to assure you do not have any problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, pain into your jaw or back and/or dizziness.

After the Test

Should you experience chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, nausea, pain into your jaw or back, or dizziness, please call your doctor and 911.

Preparing for Your Test

  • Transportation: No special preparations are required for this test. You will be able to drive home after this test.
  • Food and Drink: You should not eat or drink within three hours of the testing.
  • Medications: Please consult with your physician if you should hold any of your medications before taking this test. If allowed to take your medications as usual, please take them with small sips of water.
  • Clothing: Wear a shirt that can be easily removed while you wear your skirt or pants. One-piece clothing and dresses are not recommended. A hospital pajama top will be provided.
  • Check-in Time: Please arrive one hour prior to your scheduled appointment.

Appointment and Pre-Registration Required

Call the Queen's Pre-Registration Department at 808-691-4770 three days before your scheduled test to update your registration. Please have your medical insurance cards ready for verification.