Exercise Treadmill Stress Echocardiogram(ESE)

What is ESE?

The exercise treadmill stress echo (ESE) test compares resting and exercising ultrasound images of your heart (circulation) with simultaneous EKG recordings (electrical). This comparison can show if you have coronary artery disease. The average exam time is about one hour and it involves exercising on a treadmill while you are closely monitored.

The test is used to:

  • Determine how well your heart tolerates activity
  • Evaluate the function of your heart and valves
  • Determine your likelihood of having coronary artery disease
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your cardiac treatment plan

This test has four parts:

1. You will be asked to disrobe from the waist up and given a gown to wear. The technician will then hook up an EKG monitor to you for the entire exam, and two resting EKGs will be obtained immediately.

2. You will then have an ultrasound of your heart (echocardiogram) to assess the heart muscle, heart valves and heart function.

3. You will then be asked to exercise on a treadmill or supine bicycle for an average time of 6 to 10 minutes.

4. When your peak exercise is reached, you will get off the treadmill, quickly return to the exam table and lie on your left side so the sonographer can perform another echocardiogram.

IMPORTANT: Please read and follow instruction carefully

1.  Please always wear or bring tennis shoes or comfortable walking shoes. If you have specific exercise desires (treadmill vs. supine bike), please let our scheduler know, and you will be accommodated.

2.  We suggest that you bring or wear comfortable clothes to exercise in. Dresses or culottes are not appropriate attire. Exercise testing results are best done when you have not eaten one hour before the exam.

3.  Medicines can be taken as usual.


Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.