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Dobutamine Stress Echo (DSE)

A Dobutamine Stress Echo (DSE) is a specialised ultrasound examination where a medication, (Dobutamine) is used to replicate the effect of exercise by increasing the heart rate. This test is recommended for patients who, for many different reasons, cannot walk on a treadmill. An imaging agent (safe and usually not felt) will be given, so that the clearest pictures of your heart can be obtained. Please let the technician know before the test if you have any known allergies, or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Preparation

These points must be followed prior to a Dobutamine Stress Echo:

  • No food or cigarettes 2 hours before the test. Fluids can be consumed up to 30 minutes before your test.
  • Please bring a list of your current medications. Ask your doctor if you should take (or stop) your regular medication prior to your procedure.
  • Clothing from the waist up needs to be removed to gain access to the chest. A hospital gown is then worn for the test. Ladies, for ease, we suggest wearing a two-piece outfit in preference to a dress.

Test Duration

Allow approximately I hour and 15 minutes for your Dobutamine Stress Echo appointment.

Medicare Rebate Available

Yes

Procedure

After checking your height and weight, a small cannula will be placed into a vein, usually on the inside of your elbow or the back of your hand. Following preparation of the skin, ECG leads will be placed on your chest, enabling us to monitor your heart rate and rhythm throughout the examination. A Cardiac Technician will then position you lying down on your left side and a small transducer with some ultrasound gel is used to image the heart from various positions on your chest. This will all take approximately 10 - 20 minutes. The supervising Cardiologist will administer the medication, which will be infused slowly until the target heart rate is reached. This can take up to 30 minutes. As your heart rate increases images will be taken of your heart. At target heart rate the medication is turned off and your heart rate will return to normal within 10 – 15 minutes. Upon completion of the test shower facilities are available for your convenience. We then ask you to remain in the comfort of our clinic for 15 minutes before leaving.

Results

Your report will be sent directly to your referring doctor, usually within 24 hours. You do not need to wait for the report or any films, videos or CD’s.

Print Version

Locations where this test is available:
  • Greenslopes Private Hospital Clinic

Our other Stress Echocardiography tests include: