A Dobutamine Stress Echo is a test to evaluate coronary artery disease in patients who are unable to exercise on a treadmill. Dobutamine is a medication that increases heart rate and blood pressure similar to the effect of exercise. The rise in heart rate increases the oxygen demand of the heart and helps to determine if the heart muscle is getting enough blood and oxygen.An IV line will be started and Dobutamine will be administered by the RN. The test includes an echocardiogram done at rest and again at peak heart rate. This procedure uses sound waves (ultrasound) to produce an image of internal structures of the heart. In order to produce an image of the heart muscle, gel is applied to your chest area and a transducer (a wand-like apparatus) is moved over the chest. Electrodes are placed on the chest to record an electrocardiogram (EKG) which monitors the heart’s rate and rhythm.The cardiologist will observe for any symptoms, irregular heart rhythms, and inappropriate heart rate of blood pressure responses. This test will help the cardiologist evaluate your cardiac condition related to the following:
- How well the heart muscle and valves are working and how they function under stress
- The size of the heart’s pumping chambers (ventricles).
- Abnormal heart function: coronary artery disease and/or inadequate coronary blood supply.