Pharmacological Stress Echocardiogram
A pharmacological stress echocardiogram gives your doctor important information about your heart muscle and blood flow to your heart. It can reveal the cause of problems such as palpitations, chest pain and difficulty breathing. Unlike a regular stress echocardiogram, where you walk or run on a treadmill, a pharmacological stress echocardiogram uses a drug to stimulate your heart.
During the test, electrodes (small metal discs that detect electrical impulses) are stuck to your chest. You’ll be given a drug through an IV to stimulate your heart. At various intervals, a small ultrasound probe will be applied to your chest to view your heart. A cardiologist will analyze the results and report them to your physician, who will explain your results to you.
What to Expect During Your Test
No walking is required for this test. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue taking your medications as usual. If you have been instructed not to take your medications, tell the technician before the test. This test will take about one and a half hours.
- Arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment and bring your doctor’s order.
- Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Do not wear one-piece undergarments.
- Don’t eat food, drink caffeine or smoke for at least two hours before the test.
Pharmacological stress echocardiogram tests are performed by appointment only.