Procedure, Results & Cost of Echo Stress Test

Submitted by Nic on October 16, 2012

An echoardiographic stress test, also known as an echo stress test, is performed in order to gauge and analyze the hearts movement. The echo stress test is performed based on the principles of ultrasound and will be the result of high frequency sound waves being passed through the body in order to generate pictures of the hearts valves and chambers. An echo stress test may be performed for a number of reasons. Some of the more common reasons that an echo stress test may be performed include assessment of the overall function of the heart, in order to diagnose the presence of a number of different types of heart disease as well as following the progress of certain conditions such as heart valve disease over a period of time. There are a number of different types of the test and the echo stress test cost will differ from one to another.

The first type of heart echo stress test is a transthoracic echocardiogram and is very similar to an x-ray but does not expose the body to radiation. This echo stress test procedure is also painless and incorporates the use of a hand held device, known as a transducer that is placed on the chest and emits some high frequency radio waves. These waves then bounce back and are detected by the receiver in order to create images in the monitor that is being looked at by the overseeing doctor. A Transesophageal echocardiogram is a type of echo test that requires the transducer to be inserted down the throat and into the esophagus. Since the esophagus is close to the heart, pictures of the heart can be then obtained without having to worry about any interference from structures such as the chest getting in the way. A stress echocardiogram is performed with the individual being asked to perform some kind of strenuous physical exercise - such as running on a treadmill or a stationary bicycle. The heart reaction and handling of the physical exertion is then analyzed in order to reveal the possibility of a lack of blood flow that may not always be apparent on other forms of heart tests. Once the test has been concluded the echo stress test results will be compiled and then discussed with you probably the next day. On an average the entire echo stress test shouldn't take more than a period of about 60 minutes or so.

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