What Happens During an Exercise Stress Test with an Echocardiogram?

If you’re getting an exercise stress test with an echocardiogram, it’s very similar to an exercise stress test, except that there are a few added steps. The main difference is that we are going to use an echocardiogram to look at your heart before the test, when you are resting, and right after the test when your heart is beating faster.

An echocardiogram uses sound waves to show us a picture of your heart, so we first need to put some gel on your chest to help the sound waves work better. We then put a small device, which looks like a wand, on your chest and move it around so that we can see your heart from different directions.

After we get a good look at your heart with the echo, we will put 10 patches, called electrodes, on your chest, connected to a heart monitor with long wires, called leads. We will then raise your heart rate either by using a treadmill or by using medication. Once your heart is beating at the target rate, or if we see significant changes on the heart monitor, we’ll slow the treadmill down and make it less steep so that you can get off.

Once you get off the treadmill, we’ll put more gel on your chest and use the wand to look at your heart again on the echo.