Echocardiogram

STRESS ECHOCARDIOGRAM INFO

EVANS ROAD MEDICAL CENTRE provides BULK BILLING Stress Echo onsite. Call us on 59959000 and book an appointment to see your regular GP to get a referral.

A stress echocardiography, also called an echocardiography stress test or stress echo, is a procedure that determines how well your heart and blood vessels are working. During a stress echocardiography, you’ll exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike while your doctor monitors your blood pressure and heart rhythm.

How does Stress Echo work?

Patients with coronary artery blockages may have minimal or no symptoms during rest. However, symptoms and signs of heart disease may be unmasked by exposing the heart to the stress of exercise. During exercise, healthy coronary arteries dilate (develop a more open channel) than an artery with a blockage. This unequal dilation causes more blood to be delivered to heart muscle supplied by the normal artery. In contrast, narrowed arteries end up supplying reduced flow to its area of distribution. This reduced flow causes the involved muscle to “starve” during exercise. The “starvation” may produce symptoms (like chest discomfort or inappropriate shortness of breath), ECG abnormalities and reduced movement of the heart muscle. The latter can be recognized by examining the movement of the walls of the left ventricle (the major pumping chamber of the heart) by Echocardiography.