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What is a stress echocardiogram?

A stress echocardiogram is a test that combines a stress test with an echocardiogram. The test evaluates the health of your heart at rest and after it is stressed. Your doctor may perform a stress echocardiogram to help diagnose coronary artery disease, and to see how well your heart pumps blood and how well your heart valves work.

An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound or sonogram. It uses sound waves to make moving pictures of your heart. A stress test involves walking on a treadmill and having an EKG (electrocardiogram) to see how the stress of exercise affects the heart.

A stress echocardiogram, also called a stress echo or an echo stress test, is only one method to monitor and diagnose heart conditions. Discuss all of your testing options with your doctor to understand which options are right for you.   

Medical Reviewers: Daphne E. Hemmings, MD, MPH Last Review Date: Jul 14, 2013

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Medical References

  1. Echo Stress Test. HeartSite.com. http://www.heartsite.com/html/echo_stress.html.
  2. Echocardiography. American College of Cardiology. http://cardiosmart.org/HeartDisease/CTT.aspx?id=176.
  3. Stress Echocardiography. Texas Heart Institute. http://www.texasheartinstitute.org/HIC/Topics/Diag/disecho.cfm.
  4. Stress Echocardiogram. American College of Cardiology. http://www.cardiosmart.org/heartdisease/cttvideo.aspx?id=886.
  5. Types of Stress Testing. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/stress/types.html.
  6. What Is an Electrocardiogram? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ekg/.
  7. What is a Stress Test? American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@hcm/documents/downloadable/ucm_300453.pdf.

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