Stress echocardiography is an echocardiographic examination performed to determine whether there is decreased blood supply to the heart muscle (myocardium). The investigator considers how the wall of the heart moves on to examine the various regions of the heart. Renal motion in an area indicating reduced blood supply, that is, blood vessel (s) supplying the area or areas in question are narrow (s) or blocked (s). To reveal these changes must study performed while the heart endeavors.
The survey can be performed in two ways. Either you physically exert yourself, that you cycle on a stationary bicycle. Or by giving you a test medicine that increases the workload on the heart.
When done stress echocardiography?
This is a relatively new survey method. This means that it is currently available only at the largest hospitals in Norway.
The method may be useful in the assessment of patients suspected coronary disease, that is, impaired circulation in one or more coronary arteries, when you as a patient can not ride or walk on the treadmill. The test is also carried out to assess the risk before major surgery. Sometimes it is necessary to carry out the survey because they do not trust a normal result of the exercise ECG . The method is also used as a supplement to coronary angiography for evaluation of narrow sections of the coronary vessels (stenosis), to identify the most significant stenosis and to assess the quality of the heart muscle in the "sick" areas of the heart. There are also some other, but less common indications for investigation.
The method has its limitations. As with most other surveys are not 100% reliable result. It means that the study has little value if the chance that you have coronary artery disease, is small.
How is the survey?
The study conducted in a laboratory, and you should be closely monitored during the study. In addition to ultrasound examination are ECGs recorded all the time, and blood pressure is measured repeatedly. Depending on the method chosen, you will either ride a stationary bicycle, or you get continuously injected (infused) test medication directly into the bloodstream.
Bikes you will in most cases be able to perform ultrasound examination while riding, although it is a bit inconvenient. Can you test medicine, examined the landscape.
The examination lasts approx. 60-90 minutes.
If you are using beta blockers , a common medicine used in the treatment of hypertension and / or angina pectoris, you will be told to stop it a few days before the survey - and stare up again when the investigation is done. Examination day you must fast for at least two hours in advance.
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