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Stress Echocardiography

Echocardiography is a diagnostic tool that physicians use to evaluate the structures and functions of the heart (see Echocardiography). When combined with a stress test, it can be a powerful method to detect cardiac ischemia, that is, insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle. Physicians often use stress echocardiography to diagnose cardiac ischemia when a patient complains of chest pain.

During the test, high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) are used to create an image of the heart at rest. The patient then exercises on a treadmill or stationary bicycle. If a patient is unable to exercise, a medicine can be given which simulates exercise. After exercise, additional images are recorded and compared to the resting images.

Coastal Cardiology has the only echocardiography facility between Los Angeles and San Francisco which is certified by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories.