Background: Stress-related symptoms are often the reason that patients with cardiac disease are referred for echocardiographic assessment. We present a method for echocardiographic assessment with concurrent physiological stress where the patient is tested on a semi-supine bicycle, in a half-sitting, tilted position.
Material and method: The paper is based on a literature search of PubMed and own experience of the method.
Results: Ergometric stress echocardiography can be used for a number of cardiac conditions where an assessment of cardiac and haemodynamic response to physiological stress is wanted. Evaluation and follow-up of patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, coarctation/recoarctation, mitral and aortic valve disorders have hitherto been the most important groups. The method can also provide important information about pulmonary hypertension and congenital heart defects.
Interpretation: Ergometric stress echocardiography is a non-invasive method with little risk. It is a test that is relatively simple to conduct, and an important supplement to invasive methods.