Stress Echocardiogram

Stress Echocardiogram

A Stress echocardiogram is a test that involves exercising to increase your heart rate.

What is a Stress Echocardiogram (Stress Echo)?

A Stress echocardiogram is a test that involves exercising to increase your heart rate, with an ultrasound of your heart performed before and after the exercise. This information is combined with ECG recorded throughout the test to assess how your heart responds to exercise stress.

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Why should I have a stress echocardiogram?

Your doctor may refer you for a stress echo to look for blockages in your heart arteries (Coronary Heart Disease) that could lead to a heart attack if not diagnosed early and treated.
Your doctor may ask you to have a stress echocardiogram if you are experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or if there is any concern that you may have coronary heart disease.

What is Involved

Read more about what is involved in a Stress Echocardiogram.

What is involved in a stress echocardiogram?

access to your chest

The test requires access to your chest, so we ask that you wear a top that can be removed easily. Ladies will be required to remove their bra and will be given a gown to wear. Men may require areas of their chest to be shaved to ensure the ECG electrodes stick well to their skin. We use some rough sandpaper to make sure the dots get good contact with your skin.

Enclosed footwear

Please wear comfortable enclosed footwear e.g. joggers.

Details of your medications

Bring with you details of your medications and previous test results if you have them.

A baseline ECG

A baseline ECG and some medical history is first taken to ensure it is safe to proceed with the test. An ultrasound of your heart is taken with you lying on your left-hand side.


Once we have taken all your baseline information, you will be asked to exercise on either a stationary bike, or treadmill (depending on the testing site). The intensity of the exercise will gradually increase over time, until you have reached the target heart rate and workload, which is calculated from your age.

Monitored throughout the test

Your ECG, blood pressure and any symptoms are monitored throughout the test. When you have achieved an adequate exercise intensity the treadmill is stopped, and your heart ultrasound is repeated.

Approximately 45 minutes

Your appointment will take approximately 45 minutes and your results will be forwarded to your GP. If there are any urgent concerns regarding your test, you will talk with the Cardiologist to arrange further follow up.

What are the risks?

While every effort is made to minimize the risks of the procedure, there are rare risks, including abnormal heart beat, and angina, or heart attack.

Please feel free to discuss these issues prior to agreeing to undergo the exercise stress test.

Signed consent

Before proceeding with the test we need your signed consent. The signing of this form is voluntary and you are absolutely free to deny consent if you so desire, if so, the test will not be done. Before signing the consent form, please feel free to ask the staff performing your test any questions you have about exercise stress testing.

“Dr Ross Sharpe and Lesa King brings Cardiology services to people in remote areas of all states in Australia.”

Contact us for more information

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