|Patient Education Information Sheet
North Florida/South Georgia
Veterans Health System (NF/SGVHS)
Medical Service, Cardiology
Dobutamine Stress Echo Test
What is a Dobutamine Stress Echo Test?
This is a test to see if any blood vessels in your heart are blocked. It is a type of echocardiogram – a test that uses harmless sound waves to make images of your heart. During the test, a drug called dobutamine is used. This drug makes your heart beat faster – just as if you were exercising.
What should I do before the test?
When you schedule your test, you will be contacted by a nurse prior to your appointment. The nurse will discuss your medications with you, what to wear and what you can have to eat or drink prior to your test.
When should I arrive? How long will the test take?
You should arrive about one hour before the test. This will give you time to check in and get prepared for your exam. The test itself takes about 60 minutes.
What takes place during the test?
Small electrodes (pads) will be placed on your chest. These pads will record your heartbeat.
An IV (intravenous) line will be put in a vein in your arm. You will receive the drug, dobutamine, through your IV.
You may feel your heart begin to pound. This is normal. Pictures of your heart will be taken with sound waves throughout the exam.
Sometimes patients are given a second drug, atropine, to assist with increasing the heart rate.
The staff will check your blood pressure and heart rate during and after the test.
What if I feel something different during the test?
Speak up if you feel any of the following during the test:
Shortness of breath
Discomfort in your arm, chest, or jaw.
During a dobutamine stress echo test, sound waves produce pictures of the heart as the heart rate increases.
Flushed feeling in your face
The test can be stopped at your request.
What should I do after the test?
After your test, you can return to your normal day-to-day activities. If you were told not to take any medicines before the test, ask if you should start taking them again.
How will I find out the results of the test?
You will be told the results on one of your return visits to the clinic. Your doctor will
discuss these results with you and use them to help plan your treatment.
8 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday
1601 SW Archer Road
Gainesville, FL 32608
Contact Echo scheduling at
1-800-324-8387 ext 7644
Visit your NF/SGVHS Internet site at: