Exercise testing is an indispensable component of clinical cardiology. Latent disease or the full extent of a problem may not be apparent on a resting examination. Some form of stress is frequently necessary, especially in patients with coronary disease, to appreciate whether a patient has stress-induced ischaemia as manifested by exercise-induced chest discomfort, a drop in blood pressure or electrocardiographic changes of ischaemia. Unfortunately as with every test ECG and clinical monitoring have limitations. Patients may have ischaemia without pain, ECG changes may be non-specific, a resting abnormal ECG has limited value, and the location and amount of ischaemic muscle is not directly assessed. Monitoring the echocardiogram adds significant additional information to routine stress testing. By visualising the myocardium in the exercising individual, it is possible to assess a fundamental manifestation of ischaemia, regional wall motion abnormalities. This information helps identify the vessels and the amount of muscle involved. In addition resting wall motion abnormalities may detect clinically silent infarction or hibernating myocardium. Direct visualisation of the exercising heart provides an improved understanding of a patient's cardiac status. The technique is particularly useful in evaluating revascularisation procedures. Advances in instrumentation have reduced or eliminated many of the technical difficulties with obtaining and interpreting exercise echocardiograms. This examination has become an extremely useful adjunct to routine stress testing.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Australian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine|
|State||Published - Oct 1992|
- coronary heart disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine