What is a Dobutamine Stress Echo Test?
A Dobutamine stress echo-cardiogram is a test that examines your heart with the use of ultrasound and the drug Dobutamine. This drug will make your heart beat harder and faster, as if you were exercising. Your physician will be able to obtain information about your heart from the test.
How is it done?
Before the test begins, you will have several electrodes (small sticky patches) placed on your chest. An Intravenous (IV) will be started in your arm and a small wand (called a transducer) is held against your chest to obtain pictures/images of the heart. These images are displayed on a screen and stored.
A Cardiologist (heart doctor) will be with you during the test and will examine the pictures/images for any abnormalities.
The Dobutamine will be slowly dripped through the IV for about 15 to 20 minutes. The wand will be used several times during the test to get more pictures/images. Normally, the heart muscle will squeeze faster and harder while receiving the Dobutamine. The cardiologist will use ECG and echo pictures to evaluate the pumping function of the heart. When your heart has reached a certain rate and the physician has obtained enough information, the Dobutamine will be stopped.
How do I prepare?
- Bring all of your signed doctors orders and referrals with you.
- Bring a list of your medications with you.
- Do not eat or drink anything for 3 hours prior to the test.
*Especially no CAFFEINE and no TOBACCO
- Dress in comfortable clothing. You will be wearing a hospital gown for the test.
Should I take my medicine on the day of the test?
CONSULT THE PHYSICIAN who ordered the test about your medications. It is usually better to be off Beta Blockers for 48 hours before the test, but check with your physician before stopping.
How long does it take?
Allow one and a half hours for this test.
How will I get the results?
Contact the physician who ordered the test to obtain the results.
PLEASE NOTE: If the results of your test need to be sent to an ordering physician that does not practice at Doylestown Hospital, you will need to provide the physician's full name, address and if possible FAX number. You may provide this information on the day of your visit or call 215-345-2231 Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.