is a test that allows us to see how your heart muscle contracts
both during rest and during exercise. The strength with which the
heart muscle contractd depends in part on the amount of oxygen carried
to the heart by the blood. If a coronary artery supplying the heart
with oxygenated blood is narrowed or blocked, the portion of the
heart muscle served by that artery will not squeeze normally. If
the artery is partially blocked, the heart muscle may squeeze normally
when you are resting, but not when you are exercising. If the artery
becomes totally blocked, some heart muscle may die. If there is
a significant problem with blood supply to the heart, localized
differences in the strength of heart muscle contraction show clearly.
Resting echocardiographic images will be taken
prior to exercise. You will then be prepared as you would be for
an exercise treadmill test. You will walk on the treadmill following
the exercise treadmill protocol as described above. At peak exercise
you will immediately lay down on the table and have the exercise
echocardiographic images taken.
After your heart rate and blood pressure return
to baseline, you will be allowed to leave. A report will be called
to your referring physician immediately, if available, and a hard
copy of the report will follow.
This test takes approximately 45 minutes
to an hour.