Exercise Echocardiogram (Stress Echo)

This examination combines the Treadmill Exercise Exam (Stress Test) with the 2-Dimensional Echocardiogram (Cardiac Ultrasound) to evaluate the function of your heart during exercise.

Gel will be applied to your chest, and a transducer (small, microphone-type device) will be placed on your skin and moved around the area to view the heart from different angles. You will lie on your left side. Images of your heart will be obtained during rest and stored in a computer.

Electrodes (small, adhesive patches) will then be attached to your chest. While you walk on a treadmill, a physician will be present to monitor your blood pressure and heart rate and rhythm (EKG). The treadmill starts slowly and, at regular intervals, the speed and elevation are increased to make your heart work harder.

When you have reached peak exercise, you will be asked to return quickly to the bed. You will lie on your left side where images of your heart will again be obtained and stored in a computer.


1 hour in the Cardiovascular Department


  • Wear loose clothing for exercising (tennis shoes, shorts, etc)
  • No eating after midnight for morning appointments (you may have water)
  • If your appointment is after 12 noon, you may have a light breakfast and lunch
  • Avoid the use of creams and lotions on the chest area
  • Take your usual medications unless instructed otherwise by your physician--please bring a list of medications with you
  • No smoking on the day of the exam
  • Diabetic patients are encouraged to ask their physician for instructions when diet or medication changes are requested

If you have questions about preparing for this test, call your doctor or MyMichigan's Cardiovascular Department at (989) 839-3570.

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