Dobutamine Stress Echo
This test is to assess the blood flow to the heart muscle, and the possibility of lack of blood supply to the heart at stress or exercise – like conditions.
We exercise the heart using one or two medications, and we use a special dye to make the heart visualise more clearly on the echo machine. We need to get your heart to a certain level dependent on your age.
Common side effects:As the heart goes faster and stronger, you will feel thumbing in the chest and tingling in the head. You might also feel sick or be sick. The special dye might make you feel warm and give a metal taste in the mouth. If you have issues with blood supply to the heart muscle you might get discomfort, or tightness in the chest, neck, jaw, or arms with or without breathlessness.
Rare side effects:
1/10 000 risk of a heart attack. This includes the risk of a serious heart where we could block or damage one of the heart’s arteries even if they are normal to start with before the test. The heart attack could happen either during the test or in up to 24 hrs after the test. Of course, the risk is higher in the first 30 min after the test. If a serious heart attack happens, then you might need an emergency angiogram and possible stenting.
1/1000 risk of allergy to the special dye. This could happen up to 30 min after the test.
1/1000 risk of disturbing the electricity of the heart causing a very fast heart rate. This might require a zap of electricity with or without chest compressions.