A resting echocardiogram is obtained prior to stress. The patient is subjected to stress in the form of exercise or chemically (usually dobutamine). After the target heart rate is achieved, 'stress' echocardiogram images are obtained. The two echocardiogram images are then compared to assess for any abnormalities in wall motion of the heart.
- To assess the heart's function and structures
- To assess stress or exercise tolerance in people with known or suspected coronary artery disease (CAD)
- To further assess the degree of known heart valve disease
- To determine limits for safe exercise before one starts a Cardiac rehabilitation program and/or are recovering from a Cardiac event, such as a heart attack (myocardial infarction, or MI) or heart surgery
- To evaluate the Cardiac status before heart surgery