In this Article
- Echocardiogram definition
- Why do I need an echocardiogram?
- What are the types of echocardiograms?
- How should I prepare for the echocardiogram?
- What happens during the test?
- What should I do to prepare for a stress echo?
- What should I do if I have diabetes?
- What happens during the Dobutamine-induced stress echocardiogram?
- What should I do to prepare for the transesophageal echo?
- What happens during the transesophageal echo?
- Find a local Cardiologist in your town
What Should I Do if I Have Diabetes?
For people with diabetes who need an echocardiogram, follow these guidelines unless your doctor tells you otherwise:
- If you take insulin to control your blood sugar, ask your doctor what amount of your medication you should take the day of the test. Often, your doctor will tell you to take only half of your usual morning dose and to eat a light meal four hours before the test.
- If you take pills to control your blood sugar, do not take your medication until after the test is complete.
- Do not take your diabetes medication and skip a meal before the test.
- If you own a glucose monitor, bring it with you to check your blood sugar levels before and after your test. If you think your blood sugar is low, tell the lab personnel immediately.
- Plan to eat and take your blood sugar medication following your test.
What Happens During the Dobutamine-Induced Stress Echocardiogram?
When getting a dobutamine-induced stress test, a technician will first gently rub 10 small areas on your chest and place electrodes (small, flat, sticky patches) on these areas. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiograph monitor (ECG or EKG) that charts your heart's electrical activity during the test.
An intravenous line (IV) will be inserted into a vein in your arm so the dobutamine medication can be delivered directly into your bloodstream. The technician will perform a resting echocardiogram, measure your resting heart rate, and take your blood pressure. The doctor or nurse will administer the dobutamine into the IV while the technician continues to obtain echo images. The medication will cause your heart to react as if you were exercising: your heart rate will rise and you may feel it beating more strongly. It may cause a warm, flushing feeling and in some cases, a mild headache.
At regular intervals, the lab personnel will ask how you are feeling. Please tell them if you feel chest, arm, or jaw pain or discomfort; short of breath; dizzy; lightheaded, or if you have any other unusual symptoms.
The lab personnel will watch for any changes on the ECG monitor that suggest the test should be stopped. The IV will be removed from your arm once all of the medication has entered your bloodstream.
The appointment will take about 60 minutes. The actual infusion time is usually about 15 minutes. After the test, plan to stay in the waiting room until all of the symptoms you may have experienced during the test have resolved.
Your doctor will discuss the test results with you.
Viewers share their comments
Get the latest treatment options.