Stress (Exercise & Dobutamine)

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During stress echo electrodes are placed on your chest while you are in resting position. The wires hook to an electrocardiograph machine.An electrocardiogram keeps track of your heartbeat during your test.

Sometimes, heart patients aren’t able to exercise. A dobutamine stress echocardiogram (DSE) may be advised for such patients. Dobutamine is a medication used to stimulate increased heart muscle activity and allows the cardiologist to see how the heart responds when it has to do physical work. The medication is put in a vein and causes the heart to beat faster. 

What happens during Dobutamine Stress Test?

An appropriate dose of dobutamine through intravenous injection is given. An attached ECG machine will take images of the patient’s heart whilst at rest. A gel is applied to the chest wall for easy movement of an ultrasound probe. A slight pressure on the chest is applied, and an intravenous infusion of dobutamine and medication will be increased every 2 minutes. At certain intervals, more images of your heart will be acquired.

Due to medications, feeling a pounding heart and tingling sensation in your face and hands is normal. Blood pressure, symptoms, and heart rate are constantly monitored during the procedure. 

When the heart rate has increased sufficiently or at the cardiologist’s discretion, the Dobutamine infusion will be ceased. The results will be compared with the resting images of the heart with those taken at each interval.

  • You may be advised to stop some of your cardiac medications for 48 hours prior to the test.
  • Wear loose-fitting two-piece clothes that allow easy access to the chest wall.
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