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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Dobutamine Stress Echocardiography (Echo)Ecograf­a de estr©s con dobutamina

Dobutamine Stress Echocardiography (Echo)

This type of echocardiogram uses the drug dobutamine and harmless sound waves to help see if any blood vessels in your heart are blocked. This test is often done in a hospital or cardiac testing center.

Image of patient undergoing procedure

Before Your Test

Mention what medicines you take and ask if you should take any before the test. Don't eat, smoke, drink alcohol, or have any caffeine for 4 hours before the test. Sips of water are okay. Make sure to wear a 2-piece outfit. You may need to undress from the waist up and put on a short hospital gown. Allow 1 extra hour for checking in and getting ready for the test.

During Your Test

  • Small pads (electrodes) are placed on your chest to record your heartbeat.

  • An intravenous (IV) line is started in your arm.

  • A painless device (transducer) coated with cool gel is moved firmly over your chest. This device creates sound waves that make images of your heart on a screen.

  • Dobutamine is then slowly given through the IV. It is normal to feel your heart pound for a few minutes.

  • Echo images are taken while you feel the effects of the drug and after your pulse returns to normal. You may be given a second drug to slow your heartbeat to a normal level.

  • Your heart and blood pressure are monitored during and after the test.

After Your Test

When the test is over, you may return to your normal routine. Ask your doctor about taking any medicine that you were told to skip before the test. Your doctor will discuss your test results with you during a future office visit. The test results help the doctor plan your treatment and any other tests that may be needed.

Report Any Symptoms

Be sure to tell the doctor if you feel any of the following during the test:

  • Chest, arm, or jaw discomfort

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Feeling flushed

  • Shortness of breath

  • Nausea

  • Headache


Date Last Reviewed: 2005-09-16T00:00:00-06:00

Date Last Modified: 2005-09-16T00:00:00-06:00

Jay L. Jordan, MD, is an experienced cardiologist and internal medicine physician who provides a comprehensive range of cardiac care services in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Glendale, Burbank, Calabasas and nearby communities. Take the first step in preventing and controlling heart disease with symptoms such as angina, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, carotid artery disease, chest pain, congestive heart failure, coronary vascular disease, hypertension, palpitations, shortness of breath and stroke. Call Dr. Jay L. Jordan at 310-854-5493 or request an appointment online.

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