What Does a Stress Echo Diagnose?

Stress echo is a measurement technique that will help a cardiologist to measure changes in the blood flow to the heart. The stress echo analysis is preferable for individuals who are showing signs of chest pain, wheezing and dizziness. Such symptoms are high in people suffering from high cholesterol/blood pressure and with heart conditions.

What Does a Stress Echo Diagnose?

Stress echo diagnosis will help to measure changes in the blood flow to the heart. If you have a history of heart ailment or heart attack, it is preferable to undergo the stress echo diagnosis to ensure that you do not possess any underlying causes. Furthermore, the stress echo diagnosis helps in ensuring that blood is pumping continuously even when the body is at rest and under pressure.

For a few patients, when they show signs of stress, such as practicing in an exercise, the demand for oxygen increases, making it difficult for them to participate in the activity for more than 10 or 15 minutes. Additionally, the stress echo diagnosis will also be helpful in finding out whether the patient is suffering from inducible ischemia.

What is the Procedure of the Stress Echo Test?

A stress echo test has different methods in order to understand the flow of blood to the heart. Depending on the symptoms explained by the individual, the doctor considers a specific stress echo diagnosis to find out the region where there are blockages. Usually, the treadmill stress echo test is the preferred activity.

In the treadmill stress echo diagnosis, the doctor will monitor the results displayed by the cardiograph, which measures the electrical impulses created in the heart. The first phase consists of obtaining the stress echo diagnosis results when the patient is at rest. After a particular period, the doctor will ask the patient to undergo the stress test on the treadmill. This phase lasts for at least 45 minutes or more depending on how long the patient can tolerate the activity or show signs of dizziness, chest pain or weakness.

How does the Stress Echo Diagnosis Results Help?

As the cardiograph measures the electrical impulses created in the heart when the body is resting and undergoing strenuous activity, it displays whether the heart is receiving the same amount of oxygen through blood flow. If not, it will help the cardiologist to locate the region of narrow passages.

Arteries cause blockage due to cholesterol or coronary artery diseases. In such incidents, it becomes challenging for the individual to receive the actual blood flow required by the heart. In severe cases, the blockage stops the flow of blood to the heart causing a heart attack.

As the results are in hand, the doctor will be in a position to clarify whether there is any other cause for the symptoms, inducible ischemia, or presence of coronary artery disease.


After explaining the situation in detail to the individual, the cardiologist will plan an appropriate treatment in such a way that it includes changes to the lifestyle, food habits, and inclusion of exercises that the body can tolerate.

The cardiologist will reschedule the appointment after a certain period and performs the stress echo diagnosis again. The repetition of the test will ensure that the treatment is functioning appropriately and the heart is receiving the constant amount of oxygen at rest and under stress. If the doctor senses there is no change, he/she will alter the treatment accordingly.

Carrying out the stress activity is helpful to understand the functionality of the heart. There are no risks involved during the stress echo test. Nonetheless, the testing facility or the doctor’s office where you will be taking the stress echo test will possess an emergency mechanism and gets to attend to an unpredictable situation.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 20, 2017

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