role of stress echocardiography in detecting heart disease

Role of stress echocardiography in detecting heart disease

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Diseases of the heart and its blood vessels can best be identified at their early stages of occurrence through a dedicated test known as Echocardiography. It is one of the most widely used non-invasive methods of imaging the heart and analyzing its functionalities. It is considered one of the highly versatile techniques to evaluate heart diseases. The test also allows for the simultaneous assessment of myocardial function and hemodynamic under certain physiological conditions.

About Stress Echocardiography and the procedure:

The Cardiologists in Gurgaon and other metro cities suggest stress echocardiography to diagnose coronary artery disease and to document abnormalities in the left ventricle of the heart. Before performing the test, the vitals of the individual are tested and a general examination is conducted. The person should not be suffering from any acute cardiac illness to qualify for this stress test.

The test is performed in the fasting state and the person should walk on the treadmill for about 10 to 15 minutes before the echo test is taken. If the images have abnormalities in the heart walls and the blood vessels, then a diagnosis about myocardial infarction or coronary artery disease is made. The complete echo recording results will be reviewed to rule out ischemia and arrhythmia and will be recorded along with the ECG findings and other test reports of the client.

Indications for stress Echocardiography:

A stress echocardiography test is ordered for those people who present with the symptoms of chest pain and coronary artery disease. The test should not be performed on those with existing physical morbidity and those with acute illnesses such as cardiomyopathy, stenotic valvular disease, uncontrolled hypertension, ventricular obstruction, etc.

How stress echocardiography is performed?

Stress Echocardiography has become the part of the cardiac checkup for patients who present with pain in the chest, which resonates with the disease of the blood vessels of the heart. You can search for the best cardiac checkups in Gurgaon or near you. Before the test, the patients are instructed to be on fast and abstain from drinking fluid or smoking for at least three hours before the test. If the person is on certain prior medications, it should be stopped for at least 24 hours before the test, in consultation with the cardiologist.

A 12 lead ECG is taken first, which is followed by 2D echocardiographic images of the ventricles. The next step is to subject the client for exercise or dobutamine infusion, and commonly a treadmill test is performed that consists of a graded exercise that increases in speed with stages of three minutes each. If the patient is not able to do exercise, then IV dobutamine is administered. Continuous ECG will be monitored and blood pressure is recorded at the end of all exercise stages. After the test completes, 12 lead ECG is taken continuously, until the heart rate, BP, and ECG returns to baseline values.

Final words:

Thus, stress echocardiography is the test of confirmation of coronary artery disease and it is used for the diagnosis and assessment of patients presenting with chest pain, to identify the underlying pathology and to devise the treatment plan accordingly.

AUTHOR

Dr. Sunil Wadhwa

All stories by: Dr. Sunil Wadhwa
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