Dobutamine Stress Echo

What Is A Dobutamine Stress Echo?

  • A dobutamine stress echo investigates cardiac function under stress and coronary artery disease non-invasively.
  • This test is only for patient who cannot walk.
  • The test entails both an echocardiogram and the use of medication to increase your heart rate, and includes a patient consultation with the cardiologist once the test is complete.
  • A resting echo is performed, followed by administration of the medication and further imaging throughout the test.


What To Expect

  • You will be asked to wear shorts (women – please do not wear a dress). Your top items of clothing, including bra for women, must be removed so that you have a bare chest. Women will be given a gown to wear.
  • Firstly, you will be connected to the stress test equipment and your ECG and BP will be taken, then a resting echocardiogram will be performed. You will be required to lay on your left hand side while the sonographer takes the required images. Once this is complete, the cardiologist will enter the room and insert a canula into your right hand for the medication.
  • The medication is given in incremental doses to slowly increase your heart rate. During the test you will be asked how you are feeling. If you experience any symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness, increasing shortness, indigestion etc. please notify the cardiologist.
  • The medication will increase your heart rate as if you were exercising, and as such, you may feel your heart beating quite hard in your chest. This sensation can be slightly unnerving for some patients. Once the medication is stopped, the effects wear off very quickly and you will feel back to normal shortly after.
  • Some patients can feel sick during the test, be assured the cardiologist and technician will be with you throughout the test and will be there to help you through any symptoms.
  • Images will be taken throughout the test and you will be required to lay on your left hand side for the duration of the test.
  • The cardiologist will then review the images comparing your resting echo images with your images taken during the medication.
  • This test does not affect you from continuing with your day to day life once the test is complete and you may drive yourself home.



  • Once the images are reviewed the cardiologist will discuss the results with you then.