Stress echocardiography. Part II: Stress echocardiography in conditions other than coronary heart disease
J Ultrason 2019; 19: 49–53.
DOI: 10.15557/JoU.2019.0007
ABSTRACT

Stress echocardiography (stress echo), with use of both old and new ultrasonographic cardiac function imaging techniques, has nowadays become a widely available, safe and inexpensive diagnostic method. Cardiac stress, such as exercise or an inotropic agent, allows for dynamic assessment of a wide range of functional parameters describing ventricles, heart valves and pulmonary circulation. In addition to diagnosis of ischemic heart disease, stress echocardiography is also used in patients with acquired and congenital valvular defects, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy as well as diastolic and systolic heart failure. Physical exercise is the recommended stressor in patients with aortic and especially mitral valvular disease. Nevertheless, dobutamine stress echo is useful for the assessment of contractile and flow reserve in aortic stenosis with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. Stress echo should always be performed by an appropriately trained cardiologist assisted by a nurse or another doctor, in the settings of an adequately equipped echocardiographic laboratory and with compliance to safety requirements. Moreover, continuous education of cardiologists performing stress echo is needed.

Key words: stress echocardiography, dobutamine, exercise, cardiac valvular defects