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Stress testing

An exercise stress test shows how well your heart handles exercise. This can take various forms including stress ECG and stress echocardiograms.

  • Identify the cause of chest pain - as well as shortness of breath, dizziness and light-headedness

  • Diagnose possible coronary artery disease - if you’re showing signs and symptoms

  • Check the effectiveness of certain procedures - such as coronary angioplasty and stenting or cardiac bypass surgery

  • Help create a safe exercise plan - if you have heart disease risk factors

  • Identify any heart rhythm changes - usually experienced during exercise

  • Determine your risk of heart disease - or other heart-related conditions

Patient Information


For patients who are undergoing this test at our clinic, the information below aims to provide you with an overview of the test, its preparation requirements, and potential precautions, complications, and risks involved. Please read this information carefully and feel free to ask any questions you may have during your appointment.  ​


What is Stress Echocardiography?

Stress echocardiography is a non-invasive test that combines echocardiography (ultrasound imaging of the heart) with a stress test. This test helps evaluate how well your heart functions under stress or during exercise. It provides valuable information about blood flow to your heart muscle and helps diagnose or monitor conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart valve abnormalities, and heart failure.    T


Test Preparation:

a. Clothing: Please wear comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear (running shoes) for exercise. For both men and ladies, we suggest T-shirt and shorts where possible during exercise testing. Ladies are advised against wearing full length dresses or blouse) where possible.

b. Medications: Follow your doctor's instructions regarding medications. Some medications, such as beta-blockers, may need to be stopped temporarily before the test. Inform the healthcare team about any medications you are taking.

c. Fasting: You may be asked to avoid eating or drinking anything within 30 minutes of the test, including caffeine.  

d. Water and Towel - Patients are advised to bring their own bottle of water and a towel.  ​  

e. Asthma inhalers - Patients with exercise-induced asthma are advised to bring their own inhalers and have 2 puffs prior to commencement of stress testing.


a. Resting Echocardiogram: Before the stress test, a resting echocardiogram will be performed. You will lie on an examination table, and a technician will place a small probe on your chest to capture images of your heart using ultrasound waves. This provides a baseline for comparison during the stress test.

b. Stress Test: Depending on your physical ability, the stress test may involve walking on a treadmill or receiving medication that simulates the effects of exercise on your heart. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and electrocardiogram (ECG) will be closely monitored during the test.

c. Repeat Echocardiogram: Once you reach the target heart rate or experience symptoms of fatigue or chest discomfort, the stress test will stop. Another echocardiogram will be performed immediately or shortly after to evaluate changes in your heart function during stress.    


Potential Precautions:

a. Medical History: Inform the healthcare team about any pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, or orthopedic problems, which could affect your ability to perform the stress test.

b. Allergies: If you have known allergies, particularly to ultrasound gel or medications used during the stress test, please inform the healthcare team in advance.

c. Pregnancy: Stress echocardiography is generally avoided during pregnancy due to potential risks to the fetus.  Complications and Risks:

a. Rare complications: While stress echocardiography is generally safe, there is a small risk of complications such as an irregular heartbeat, chest pain, or heart attack. However, these complications are very rare. b. Discomfort: Some individuals may experience fatigue, shortness of breath, or muscle soreness during or after the stress test.

c. Allergic reactions: Although rare, some patients may experience allergic reactions to the ultrasound gel or medications used during the test.。


For appointment, contact us:

0403 331 488 (Cardiology) 

0403 331 975 (Other specialties)

Fax: (02) 8068 9190

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