DOBUTAMINE ECHOCARDIOGRAM

This test is a type of stress test that may have been ordered by your physician to determine if there is adequate blood flow to the heart, evaluate the effectiveness of your heart medications to control angina, or identify abnormal heart rhythms.

While stress tests are usually done by having you exercise on a treadmill to make your heart work harder, you will be receiving the drug Dobutamine through an IV catheter, which is similar to the natural chemical in your body that causes your heart to work harder. You will not be required to exercise during this test.

What to Expect: Upon arriving to the office, you will change into a gown, undressing from the waist up. A technologist will place several electrodes on your chest area so that your heart rate and rhythm can be monitored throughout the test. You blood pressure will also be taken at this time. A small IV catheter will be inserted in your arm, so that the Dobutamine can be administered. Prior to receiving the Dobutamine, you will lie on your left side and an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) will be performed. Following the resting echocardiogram, the Dobutamine infusion will start and increase in dosage every three minutes until your target heart rate is achieved. If your target heart rate cannot be reached within 15 to 18 minutes, a second medication called Atropine may be administered. While Dobutamine does not cause damage to your heart itself, you may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, pounding heartbeats, or feeling flushed or dizzy. These symptoms go away shortly after the medication is stopped. Once your target heart rate is achieved, the Dobutamine is turned off and your heart rate should normalize after about 15 minutes. Testing takes approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours for preparation and testing.

Preparation: You may have a light meal the day of the procedure, however you should not eat at least 3 hours prior to your test. Wear a comfortable 2-piece outfit. Certain medications can decrease the effectiveness of the test, so please review your medications with you referring physician.

Location: Currently, this test can be performed at our Farmington Hills and Novi offices.

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