Another type of stress testing, which is being used with increasing frequency, involves the addition of echocardiographic imaging of the heart during the stress test. In this situation, an ultrasound image of the heart is obtained at rest. The patient then exercises on a treadmill in the usual manner, with ECG recordings and blood pressure measurements taken as per standard stress testing. Immediately upon cessation of exercise, another ultrasound image is taken, and a comparison is made between the images at rest and immediately after exercise. An exercised induced change in the contraction of the heart gives additional evidence for the presence of narrowed coronary arteries.
This test is performed by both a technician trained in diagnostic ultrasound, as well as your cardiologist.
The test usually takes 30 to 45 minutes to perform.