Why is an Exercise Stress Echo Test Performed?

The test is used to:

  • Determine how well your heart tolerates activity
  • Evaluate the function of your heart and valves
  • Determine your likelihood of having coronary artery disease
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your cardiac treatment plan

Exercise Stress Echo Instructions:

*Please allow approximately 1 hour for this test

1. This is a WALKING test, please wear comfortable walking shoes.
2. Do not use powder, lotions or oil on your chest the day of the test (under arm deodorant is allowed).
3. Eat a light snack (such as toast, crackers, orange juice, water) two hours before the test.
4. Please bring a current list of ALL medications with you the day of the test.
5. The following medications can affect your performance and the interpretation of your test.

DO NOT take any of the following medications the night before or the morning of your test. Failure to do this may result in rescheduling of your appointment. Please take all other medications as they are regularly prescribed.

Beta Blockers: Tenormin, Atenolol, Tenoretic , Lopressor, Metoprolol, Toprol, Toprol XL, Corgard, Nadolol, Corzide, Inderal, Propranolol, Inderide, Innopran, Blocadren, Timolol, Timolide, Visken, Pindolol, Coreg, Carvedilol, Betaxolol, Betapace, Sotalol, Labetalol, Normodyne, Sectral, Acebotolol, Zebeta, Ziac, Bisoprolol, Bystolic, Nebivolol

Nitrates: Imdur, Isosorbide, Ismo, Isordil, Monoket, Nitrobid, Nitrostat, Nitrodur

What to expect:

During an Exercise Stress Echo you will be in the office for approximately 1 hour. You will first be asked to sign a consent form to perform the stress test. Men will be bare chested and women will be given a gown to wear during the entire test for the upper half of the body. You will be hooked up to EKG wires, your blood pressure will be taken, and then you will lie on the table for approximately 15 minutes for baseline echo pictures. Sometimes an image enhancer may be used in order to produce the best possible image. You will then immediately get up and begin walking/running on the treadmill. The treadmill portion will last approximately 6-12 minutes depending on your age and ability. Your BP and EKG will be monitored continuously throughout the stress portion. Ultimately, we need to reach a target heart rate based on your age and push you until you are tired out. The treadmill will stop abruptly, right under your feet. Without catching your breath, you will lie down on the table a second time, for only one minute of echo pictures. You will then recover for approximately 6 minutes while your BP and EKG are monitored.