Stress Echocardiogram

A Stress Echocardiogram, or Stress Echo, is a test that is used to evaluate your heart function when it is “stressed” after you walk on a treadmill. We use ultrasound images before and after you walk on the treadmill to help your doctor look at your heart function.

What to Expect During the Test

For the first part of the test – the echocardiogram or echo – a special gel will be placed on your chest to help direct the sound waves back to the sound head, a small microphone probe. The sound head will then be place on different parts of your chest to look at your heart.

Next, you will be asked to walk on a treadmill, which will gradually get steeper and faster. Your heart will be monitored during the test using electrocardiogram (EKG) to determine your heart rate and any changes in your heart’s rhythm. A second echocardiogram will be performed immediately following the treadmill walk to compare cardiac structures and changes in wall function.

This test is painless and involves little risk. Test results will be sent to your physician who will discuss them with you.

This test takes approximately one hour. You will be asked to stay for approximately 30 minutes following the test to make sure that you do not have any problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, pain into your jaw or back, and 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: It is okay to eat a light breakfast (coffee or tea and toast or cereal) at least two hours before the appointment. You should not eat or drink within two 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 comfortable clothing and shoes for exercise.
  • Check-in Time: Please arrive 15 minutes 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.