Ultrasounds and Stress Testing

ICAEL LogoOur Echocardiogram and Stress Echocardiogram labs are accredited by ICAEL. Through the accreditation process, laboratories assess every aspect of daily operation and its impact on the quality of health care provided to patients. This accreditation acknowledges the high quality care you can expect to receive from us.

General Information on Ultrasounds

  • Ultrasound exams are generally painless, fast and easy with no side effects. Allow between 45-90 minutes for the exam, depending on the area of the body being imaged.
  • You will be positioned on a cushioned examination table. The sonographer will apply a warm clear gel to the skin above the anatomic structure to be studied. The gel acts as a conductor, eliminating air bubbles between the transducer and your body.
  • The transducer, a hand-held device which sends and receives ultrasound signals, is pressed against the skin and swept back and forth until the desired images are captured. There may be varying degrees of pressure as the sonographer guides the transducer over the body.
  • The ultrasound images are visible on a television-like monitor and recorded electronically for a physician to review and interpret.


This test uses sound waves to create a moving image of your heart, also referred to as an ultrasound. This test generally requires about 45 minutes and no preparation is necessary.

chelseatreadmillExercise Tolerance Test (ETT) and Stress Echocardiogram

TreadmillThese tests require you to walk on a treadmill, therefore, please wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Sneakers are ideal if available and women should avoid skirts, as we want you to be able to walk comfortably. Please bring a list of your medications. If you are currently taking a beta-blocker, please hold it the night before and day of the test. If you are unsure of whether or not you are taking a beta-blocker, please contact your physician. Please do not eat or drink for four hours prior to the test. If you have diabetes and feel your glucose level is running low, please test it and consume a small amount (for example juice, crackers, glucose tablets) if necessary and make the staff aware upon arrival. Allow yourself 90 minutes of office time.

Dobutamine Echo

This is a type of stress test in which a medication is administered intravenously. This drug simulates exercise and makes your heart rate increase. An echocardiogram is done simultaneously. Allow 2 hours in the office.

Instructions are also available through our instruction line at 784-8173.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I eat 4 hours before test?

There are a few reasons.

  • Some patients may experience nausea after strenuous exercise. To avoid this, we ask all patients to refrain from eating.
  • More blood is directed to the stomach and away from extremities after eating.
  • Although rare, some patients might be sent for additional testing immediately following this test, which requires an empty stomach.

Can I still take my medication?

Most medications you may take with small sips of water, except for Beta blockers and certain calcium channel blockers. Patients with diabetes should not take oral diabetes medications or insulin the day of the test.

When will I get the results?

Your test results will be sent electronically to your referring physician as well as your primary care provider (if different) within 24 hours. Your doctor will be notified sooner if your condition requires prompt attention.