What is an Exercise Echo?
An Exercise Echo provides information about the function and contractility of the heart muscle before, during and after exercise.
How does it work?
The test is very similar to an Exercise ECG. The only difference is that an echo assessment of the heart muscle will be undertaken in conjunction with exercising and ECG monitoring. The test commences with an echocardiogram that looks at the movement of your heart muscle. Whilst lying down, a probe will be placed on your chest and a series of dynamic images will be recorded. You will then be asked to exercise on a bike. The moment you reach a predetermined target heart rate, you will be assisted to lie back down on a bed where a second series of echo images will be recorded. It’s important that you inform the Supervising Doctor if you have any symptoms such as chest pain or nausea during the test. You will be required to remain in the practice for at least 15 minutes after the test to ensure that you have fully recovered from the exercise and are experiencing no symptoms.
How do I prepare for the test?
A baseline echocardiogram is required to be performed on a separate day prior to this test.
It’s recommended that you wear comfortable clothing and footwear for the test. For example, suitable clothing would be shorts and T-shirt or a track suit. Footwear should be a pair of comfortable walking shoes or runners.
You will be instructed by your GP or Cardiologist if you need to stop your heart related medication 24 hours prior to the test.
How long does the test take?
An Exercise Echo takes approximately 30-40 minutes.