V I C T O R I A H E A R T

Loading

We offer "Female Only" appointments for all our tests, including echocardiograms.
Please ask for our "Female Only" option if you prefer an all female team (cardiac technician, sonographer and/or cardiologist) for your test.

Stress Echocardiogram combines a resting Transthoracic Echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) with an exercise stress test. 

In addition to providing much of the information obtained by a resting Transthoracic Echocardiogram, a Stress Echocardiogram also evaluates how your heart responds to exercise.  This test can investigate symptoms such as chest pain/discomfort and/or shortness of breath and can also assess heart muscle conditions (cardiomyopathies), valve disease or heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmia).

A common misconception is that you need to be fit or be able to run to undertake this test – this is not the case as we will tailor the treadmill protocol to your exercise performance. 

In preparation for this test, please 

  • continue to take your regular medications (unless otherwise advised by your doctor) 
  • avoid eating for one hour prior to the test 
  • wear comfortable  walking/gym shoes and light clothing
  • most bras/crop tops are unsuitable for use during stress testing as they prevent access to the areas of the chest wall needed to enable satisfactory imaging.  At Victoria Heart, we have developed bespoke bras available for your comfort and modesty that will not compromise the quality of your scan. 

The test takes about 30 minutes to complete.

  1. Initially, small sticky electrodes are attached across your chest to monitor your heart rhythm.  A blood pressure cuff is applied to your upper arm. 
  2. A baseline Transthoracic Echocardiogram is performed. 
  3. An Exercise Stress Test is performed under the direct supervision of one of our expert Cardiologists.  The treadmill starts slowly and increases in incline and speed every few minutes according to a standard protocol, although this can be modified by our Cardiologist.  The duration of exercise is generally limited by your symptoms (eg. shortness of breath or fatigue) with most patients exercising for 5-10 minutes.  Depending on your level of fitness, you may be required to run – this is usually an indicator of a good level of fitness.
  4. When the treadmill is stopped, you will quickly and safely return to the examination bed where ultrasound images are promptly acquired while your heart rate is still elevated from the exercise to assess how your heart has responded to exercise.
Your results will be analysed by our Cardiologist who may or may not directly communicate preliminary findings to you before you leave.  A detailed report will then be created and promptly sent to your referring doctor.
Appointment