A stress echocardiogram is completed in three stages:
- An echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) is performed to give a baseline indication of your heart’s structure and how well it is functioning at rest
- You will then be asked to run on a treadmill or cycle at increasing intensity – during this time you will be wired to a computer that enables the nurse to monitor how well you are doing and if the test needs to be stopped at any stage
- Immediately after the exercise test another echocardiogram will be performed to observe any differences in heart function.
A reduction in heart contraction after exercise can indicate inadequate blood flow in one or more of the arteries – highlighting the need for further investigation and treatment.