In order to diagnose certain heart conditions, some heart studies require that the heart be subjected to "stress" or exercise. This allows the cardiologist to evaluate the heart while it is working its hardest.
The dobutamine stress echo was developed for people who are unable to exercise on a treadmill or stationary cycle as required using a more traditional stress echo. In this test, you will be given dobutamine, a special medication that will stimulate your heart and make it think that it is actually exercising.
The dobutamine stress echo is a valuable diagnostic tool that allows the cardiologist to assess a number of different things including:
- The overall function of your heart's valves and chambers
- The clinical manifestations of many types of heart disease
such as valvular problems, myocardial disease, pericardial disease,
coronary artery disease and congenital heart disease
- Monitoring, evaluation and follow-up of medical treatments (drugs) or