Community Health Network

Ranked among the nation's most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana's leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions, workplaces, schools and homes.

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Dobutamine stress echocardiogram

A dobutamine stress echocardiogram test is designed to assist in diagnosing and assessing the presence and extent of coronary artery disease, myocardial perfusion (the amount of blood flow to the heart), cardiomyopathy or post myocardial infarction status of patients who are poor candidates for treadmill exercise in a traditional cardiac stress test. If you are well informed and comfortable, we can work together for a better test.

What is dobutamine?

Dobutamine is a drug that increases your heart rate and blood pressure, which can effectively simulate the body's reaction to a stress test done while walking on a treadmill. There are possible adverse reactions to dobutamine. This drug can increase the possibility of an abnormal heartbeat. Other side effects that have been reported include nausea, headache, anginal pain, palpitations and shortness of breath. Please inform the person doing your test if you are asthmatic or have a known sensitivity to sulfites.

If you take Viagra, you should not use it for 48 hours before your stress test. You should have nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours before the test. This test will take approximately 2 hours to complete. There will be a physician, nurse, and cardiac sonographer present throughout the test.

Ten electrodes will be placed on your chest. Preparation of male patients may require some portions of the chest to be shaved. Wire leads are connected to the testing equipment will then be connected to the electrodes. A blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm, which will be used to monitor your blood pressure. An IV will be started as a means to administer the dobutamine. A physician will monitor the dobutamine infusion, vital signs, ECG and echocardiographic study.

An ultrasound transducer will be used to obtain ultrasound images of your heart. Color flow and Doppler will be used to evaluate the valves of your heart. After a resting ECG and standard Echocardiogram have been performed, a dobutamine infusion is then started. An increase in dose will be made every three minutes thereafter until a predetermined heart rate has been reached or the desired dosage of dobutamine has been reached. This test may also be stopped upon the occurrence of any significant symptoms or at your request. Ultrasound images are taken throughout the dobutamine infusion.

When the physician determines that the test is over the infusion of dobutamine will be stopped. At this point you will remain lying down for 9 minutes to recover. During this recovery period your ECG, heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored every three minutes. When you have completely recovered, the electrodes will be removed and you will be given a towel and a washcloth to clean off the ultrasound gel. The physician will interpret the test and a copy of the test will be made and sent to your attending physician.

We are dedicated to making your testing experience a pleasant one. For more information, please call us at 765-453-8333.

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