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Dobutamine Stress Echocardiography
 
Description:

This is an echocardiographic test that helps determine the presence or absence of coronary artery disease in the heart. An intravenous medication (Dobutamine) is infused while echocardiographic images are taken. The medicine increases the heart rate which allows your doctor to assess heart This non-invasive test was developed for people who are unable to exercise on a treadmill as required using a more traditional Stress Echo and is used to evaluate coronary artery disease in patients . This procedure uses sound waves (ultrasound) to produce an image of the internal structures of the heart. The test includes an echocardiogram done at rest and again at peak heart rate.
 

Preparation/What to Expect:

 
Patient is instructed to not eat, drink anything containing caffeine or alcohol (for at least two hours) or smoke before taking the test.

Continue all medications unless instructed otherwise.

  • Prior to the test, the Cardiologist will explain the procedure in detail, including possible complications and side effects. The Nurse Technologist in turn will request patient to sign the Written Consent.

  • Initially a Resting 2D Echocardiography will be obtained and recorded. Electrodes are placed on the chest to record an electrocardiogram (EKG) which monitors the heart's rate and rhythm. The sonographer position patient on his left side and a sound-wave transducer will be placed on several areas of the chest. To facilitate movement on the skin, a small amount of gel is placed on the transducer, this will also help get clearer pictures.

  • An IV line will be started and Dobutamine will be administered. The cardiologist will observe for any symptoms, irregular heart rhythms, an inappropriate heart rate or blood pressure responses and continues to obtain echo images.

  • The medication will cause the heart to react as if were exercising: the heart rate will rise and the patient may feel it beating more strongly. It may cause a warm, flushing feeling and, in some cases, a mild headache.

  • As soon as the heart rate is adequately high, echo pictures are taken.

  • The test will be stopped when it has reached a pre-determined heart rate, or at patient’s request or if there’s an exaggerated rise in blood pressure develop with activity

  • Upon termination of procedure, blood pressure, heart rate and electrocardiogram will be monitored carefully till it returns to baseline. Then the IV line will be removed by the Nurse.


  The test takes 60 to 90 minutes to complete. Preparation prior to this test is the same with Stress Echocardiography.