Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram

Dobutamine stress echocardiograms are used to diagnose certain heart conditions. This type of echocardiogram was created for patients who are physically unable to exercise on a treadmill or stationary cycle. This type of echocardiogram utilizes a special medication called dobutamine. Essentially, this medication mimics regular echocardiograms, stimulating your heart so it appears that you are exercising.

The dobutamine allows cardiologists to:

  • Check the function of heart valves and chambers
  • Determine the presence of heart disease, coronary artery disease and congenital heart disease
  • Monitor the progress of a treatment

Before Your Procedure

  • Tell your doctor what medicines you take and any allergies you may have.
  • Don’t eat for at least four hours before the test.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.

During Your Procedure

  • You will be given a hospital gown and asked to remove clothing from the waist up.
  • A technician will place electrodes on your chest to monitor your electrocardiogram (ECG).
  • You will be asked to lie on your left side on an examining table.
  • A sonographer will apply a small amount of gel to a wand or an ultrasound transducer. They will then move the wand around to different areas of your chest.
  • An intravenous (IV) line with dobutamine medication will be inserted into a vein in your arm.
  • While the dobutamine is entering your body, you sonographer will continue to capture images of your heart.
  • Once all the medication has entered your bloodstream, the IV line will be removed.

After Your Procedure

After the test, you can get dressed and go back to your normal, daily activities. A cardiologist will review your test results and either mail them to your primary care physician or talk to you about them.

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