Stress Echocardiogram

Instructions for the Test


  1. Wear comfortable clothing, suitable for continuous exercising, and comfortable walking or running shoes
  2. Do not use any type of body lotion on the day of the test. Deodorant is okay
  3. Do not eat for at least four hours prior to the test. You can consume a small amount of water, but no coffee, tea, or other caffeinated or decaffeinated beverages. (If you are diabetic, you may eat a small amount of food and use your insulin as usual)
  4. Do not smoke or use any type of tobacco on the day of the test
  5. Take all your medications as usual unless you are on a beta blocker or calcium channel blocker (these are listed on the bottom of this brochure by name). Do not take your beta blocker on the day of the test, but as stated, take all other medications as usual

What is a Stress Echocardiogram?

It is a test that shows ultrasound pictures of your heart before and after you walk on a treadmill. It can help determine how well your heart functions when you exert yourself.

How is the Test Done?

The test is done in three parts. The first part involves a resting echocardiogram. The technologist will use a transducer (microphone) to take images of your heart. This is safe and painless. The second part involves walking on a treadmill. The treadmill will gradually increase in speed and incline. The physician will watch your EKG and check your blood pressure. You should try and walk as long as you can or until the physician stops the test. The third step of the test requires that you move quickly back to the exam table where images will be made of your heart. With these pictures, the physician can see how your heart responds to exercise. Plan on being at our office about 1 ½ hours. Afterwards, you can continue your normal activities.

Is the Test Safe?

The echocardiogram test is safe and painless. The treadmill portion of the test is generally safe. There is a small amount of risk because the test does stress the heart. Possibilities include abnormal heart rhythms and very rare heart attack. Experienced personnel are available to handle any emergencies.

Test Results

The physician will review the images. He will give you the results at a later appointment or will send the report to your physician.

Beta Blockers:
  • BLOCADREN (Timolol)
  • CORGARD (Nadolol)
  • COREG (Carvedilol)
  • LOPRESSOR (Metoprolol)
  • INDERAL (Propranolol)
  • SECTRAL (Acebutolol)
  • NORMODYNE (Labetolol)
  • TOPROL (Metoprolol)
  • TENORMIN (Atenolol)
  • VISKEN (Pinfolol)
  • TRANDATE (Labetolol)
  • ZIAC (Bisoprolol/HCTZ)
  • ZEBETA (Bisoprolol)
Calcium Channel Blockers:
  • CALAN (Verapamil hydrochloride)
  • CARDIZEM (Diltiazem HCL)
  • COVERA (Verapamil hydrochloride)
  • DILACOR (Diltiazem HCL)
  • ISOPTIN (Verapamil HCL)
  • NIMOTOP (Nimodpine)
  • TIAZAC (Dilitiazen hydrochloride)
  • VASCOR (Bepridil hydrochloride)