How is stress cardiography performed for cardiac assessment?

Updated: Nov 20, 2018
  • Author: Richard S Krause, MD; Chief Editor: Barry E Brenner, MD, PhD, FACEP  more...
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Another method of detecting coronary artery disease is to perform echocardiography while the heart is undergoing exercise or pharmacologically induced stress. Wall motion abnormalities can be visualized with the technique. The exercise is performed using a treadmill or a bicycle ergometer. If a treadmill is used, images are obtained prior to exercise and then within 60-90 seconds of completing exercise. Bicycle ergometry has the advantage of being able to perform the echocardiogram at different stages of exercise. Supine ergometry provides the most information since 4 cardiac views can be obtained. Dobutamine is the most common pharmacologic agent used in conjunction with echocardiography. Image quality can be enhanced by injection of echogenic microbubbles.

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