About This Procedure
A bicycle stress echocardiogram is a test performed to evaluate your heart. The test involves an echocardiogram, (ultrasound of your heart), an electrocardiogram (ECG) and a supine bicycle attached to a bed. The supine bike allows the patient to pedal (exercise) while lying flat on the bed. This allows the echocardiogram to be performed.
The bicycle stress echocardiogram compares the performance of your heart at rest to the performance of your heart during exercise, or stress. This can be helpful in the diagnosis of cardiac disease in the early stages of development, or to assess the progress of patients with known cardiac disease.
During the test, you will lie on your back on the examination bed and pedal a bike that is attached to the bed. You will be asked to pedal as long as possible in order to evaluate your heart during exercise. You will be continuously and closely monitored. The entire examination is approximately an hour. It is not unusual for a test to run longer if the structures of your heart are difficult to visualize because of chest shape or lung interference.