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A stress echocardiogram is a type of heart examination used by doctors to help diagnose coronary heart disease. Patients are tested while exercising in order to assess the performance of the heart muscle under stress, and to see whether the heart is receiving sufficient oxygen from the blood vessels. Patients are also monitored for other abnormal symptoms that may arise during exercise, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and changes in heart rhythm. The use of an echocardiogram will help to discern whether or not the heart muscle is pumping sufficient blood to the rest of the body – and also allows doctors to monitor the patient’s heart rhythm and performance of the heart valves, and measure the capacity of the heart chambers. In turn, this allows the doctors to see whether the patient is suffering from coronary heart disease.
By using an echocardiogram, doctors can increase the accuracy and precision of their diagnosis, allowing for a more accurate reading than if the patient was observed while walking on a normal treadmill.