Stress echocardiography, or stress echo test is an echocardiogram performed before and during or just after some form of physical stress. The test, typically conducted with treadmill or bike exercise can be used to:
- Diagnose coronary heart disease
- Diagnose heart-related cause of symptoms such as chest pains, shortness of breath or lightheadedness
- Determine a safe level of exercise
- Check effectiveness of previous procedures
- Predict cardiac-disease risk.
The test involves connecting the patient to heart monitors and walking on a treadmill. Gradually, the pace and incline of the treadmill is increased to raise the patient’s heart rate. At intervals, the patient may be asked to breath into a tube. At the test’s completion, heart and blood pressure rates are checked.