Heart & Vascular

Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram

Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram

What Is A Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram?

A Dobutamine stress echocardiogram is a test that looks at your heart using both an ultrasound and the drug Dobutamine. Dobutamine makes your heart beat harder and faster. Your doctor will be able to get information about your heart from the test.

How Is It Done?

You will have several electrodes (small sticky patches) placed on your chest. An intravenous (IV) is started in a vein in your arm. A small wand (called a transducer) is placed on your chest to take pictures/images of the heart. These pictures are shown on a screen.

A cardiologist (heart doctor) will be with you for this part of the test and will be able to see any abnormalities.

The Dobutamine is given slowly through the intravenous (IV) for about 15 to 20 minutes. The wand will be used during the test. It is normal for the heart muscle to squeeze faster and harder while getting the Dobutamine. You may also be given a medicine called Atropine to help increase your heart rate. The cardiologist will use the ECG (electrocardiogram) and echocardiogram to assess the pumping function of your heart. When your heart has reached a certain rate and the doctor has enough information the Dobutamine will be stopped. You will continue to be monitored until your heart rate returns to your normal level. The test is then complete.

What Do I Need To Do To Get Ready?

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 3 hours before your test.
  • NO caffeine for 12 hours before your test and NO tobacco the day of the test.
  • Bring all of your signed doctors' orders and referrals with you.
  • Bring a list of your medicines with you.
  • Wear comfortable clothing. You will be wearing a hospital gown for the test.

ASK THE DOCTOR who ordered the test about your medicines. Get clear advice about your heart medicines, since you may need to stop taking them 48 hours before the test.

How Long Will The Test Take?

Allow 1.5 hours for the test.

How Will I Get The Results?

Results should be ready in about 48-72 hours. Contact the doctor who ordered the test to get your results.

PLEASE NOTE: If the results of your test need to be sent to a doctor who does not practice at Doylestown Hospital, you will need to give us the doctor's full name, address and, if possible, FAX number. You may give us this information on the day of your visit or call 215.345.2231 Monday through Friday 8 am – 4:30 pm.

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