Understanding a dobutamine stress echocardiogram
If a treadmill stress test is not appropriate for you, your doctor may order a dobutamine stress test to measure the pumping ability of your heart muscle during a time of increased heart work.
A dobutamine stress echocardiogram is done while you're reclining. An intravenous injection of the medication, dobutamine, causes forceful pumping of your heart muscle similar to when you're exercising. Moving images of your heart are obtained with sound waves transmitted through a transducer held against your chest. By comparing images before, during, and after the dobutamine injection, we can identify areas of decreased heart muscle movement.
What will happen during the test?
Once you're comfortable in the stress echo room, an IV will be inserted into a vein in your arm to allow for the administration of dobutamine. You'll be attached to electrocardiogram (EKG) and blood pressure (BP) monitors. The EKG and BP readings will be taken before and during the test. To improve the quality of the study, a conductive gel is applied to areas of the chest where the transducer will be placed. The lights will be off during your test.
The test takes approximately two hours. A physician will be present during the test and will direct the injection of dobutamine in slowly increasing amounts. Echocardiogram pictures of the heart will be taken when requested by the physician. The test is completed when we've obtained an adequate number of pictures or when EKG changes or physical symptoms occur.
For more information
To learn more about ProHealth Care's heart and vascular services, please call 262-928-2330.