echocardiogram (ECHO)

Dobutamine Stress Echocardiograms. This test is designed for patients for whom an exercise stress test is not an option. A Dobutamine Stress Echo is a non-invasive ultrasound test used to visualize the heart in motion. To view the heart, the doctor will place a transducer on the chest, which emits harmless sound waves to the heart. These sound waves generate pictures of the heart in motion and are displayed on an ultrasound machine connected to the transducer. The doctor will examine the muscle movement of the heart (also called wall motion) while you are at rest. Then, the doctor will inject a medication called Dobutamine through an IV. This causes the heart to beat faster, simulating the effects exercise has on the heart. The doctor will then examine these pictures of the heart and compare them to the pictures taken while at rest.

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