Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram
What is a ‘stress test’ and why is this called a stress test?
The resting heart muscle’s blood supply needs are usually well met even in the presence of blocked arteries. When the heart is stressed either by exercise or chemicals, the demand for blood increases. The blood flow through the blocked arteries- while adequate at rest- may not be able to keep up with the demands of a stressed heart. This can show up on the pictures of the heart taken after stress. This is the principle behind all the stress tests. The term ‘stress test’ is used for any means used to increase heart muscle’s demand for blood. This can be done by exercise or by chemical means.
What is Dobutamine stress echo test?
This is one of the stress tests used to look for evidence of coronary artery disease or blockage of heart arteries. It is the same as stress echo except a chemical called Dobutamine is used to stress the heart. Dobutamine is used instead of exercise if you are unable to walk on the treadmill due to some reason. Dobutamine can cause certain side effects as described before.
How do I prepare for Dobutamine echo stress test?
No special preparation is usually needed before this test. Ask your provider about any special instructions.