An echocardiogram (echo) is a test used to assess the heart's function and structures. A stress echocardiogram is a test done to assess how well the heart works under stress. The “stress” can be triggered by either exercise on a treadmill or a medicine called dobutamine.
A dobutamine stress echocardiogram (DSE) may be used if you are unable to exercise. Dobutamine is put in a vein and causes the heart to beat faster. It mimics the effects of exercise on the heart.
A DSE may involve one or more of these special types of echocardiograms: M-mode echocardiogram Doppler echocardiogram Color Doppler 2-D (two-dimensional) echocardiogram 3-D (three-dimensional) echocardiogram