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Articles
  • Heart and mind: hormones
  • Coronary procedures
  • Cardio-vascular diagnostic workshop: what complaints and symptoms may indicate
  • Systolic and diastolic pressure
  • How to recognize angina and heart attack: the precipitating factors & anginal pain
  • Echocardiography: what information can the doctor get from an echo?
  • Heart and mind: medication
  • Angina
  • Can heart attacks and re-infarctions be prevented?
  • Echocardiography: what is a dobutamine stress echo?


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    ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY: WHAT IS A DOBUTAMINE STRESS ECHO?

    The dobutamine stress echo is a type of stress test performed using a drug: dobutamine and an echo machine. This test is performed to determine whether any areas of the heart are receiving less blood supply due to a blockage in the blood vessels supplying blood to that region. The test is performed like a simple echo examination but with the variation that an intravenous infusion of dobutamine is started alongwith. Dobutamine is a stimulant of the heart and makes the heart contract faster and harder. If a portion of the heart is receiving less blood supply it contracts less hard and this becomes evident during the echo examination. A dobutamine stress echo is especially useful to determine blockages of coronary arteries in people who cannot perform a routine stress test.

    An additional use of a 'low dose' dobutamine echo test is to determine if a portion of the heart muscle that is contracting poorly on an echo test is dead or merely weakened due to reduced blood supply. A low dose of dobutamine will cause a weakened muscle to beat more vigorously whereas a dead muscle will not be stimulated despite the dobutamine.

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    Cardio & Blood


     

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