Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Cardiopulmonary team at Gunnison Valley Health is dedicated to fighting
heart disease in our community. Stress echocardiography is just one tool
used to accomplish this.
What is a stress echocardiogram?
A stress echocardiogram is also known as a stress echo or stress test.
This noninvasive test is used to ensure the heart and blood vessels are
healthy both at a rest and at working heart rate. A stress echocardiogram
begins with a baseline echocardiogram to understand how the heart is at
a resting heart rate. Next the patient is put on a treadmill and monitored
as the heart reaches a target heart rate. Once this heart rate is reached,
another echocardiogram is done to capture images of the heart during this
state. This test can help tell many things about the heart including the
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart valve problems
- Amount of exercise/stress that is safe for the heart
- If the heart is strong enough for surgery
Who can benefit from a stress echocardiogram?
A stress echocardiogram requires a referral or doctor’s order. This
usually comes from a primary care physician (PCP) but can also be from
a cardiologist. Common reasons for a doctor ordering a stress test include
- Chest pain or shortness of breath
- Coronary artery disease
- Previous heart attack
- Family history of heart disease
Stress echocardiogram vs other tests
Two other heart tests are oftentimes confused with a stress echocardiogram:
electrocardiogram (EKG). These two tests and the stress test are offered here at Gunnison Valley
Health and require a doctor’s order. All three are noninvasive,
yet they each have a unique purpose.
An echocardiogram is part of the stress echocardiogram. If the heart’s
behavior at a target heart rate is not needed to be monitored, your doctor
will likely order an echocardiogram rather than a stress test. An EKG
is a much more common and simple test that measures the electrical function
of the heart by taking a snapshot of what the heart is doing at the time
of the test. To learn about all of our cardiopulmonary services,
How to schedule a stress echocardiogram with our team
Once you have received your doctor’s order, ensure your physician
sends the order to Gunnison Valley Health's Cardiopulmonary department.
After we receive the order, the admissions team will ensure that eligible
insurance may cover the cost of the stress test. Once this is complete,
a member of the Cardiopulmonary staff will contact you to set up an appointment.
If you require further information, please contact the Gunnison Valley
Health Cardiopulmonary department at
Our Cardiopulmonary team at Gunnison Valley Health is dedicated to providing
the best care for your heart and providing comprehensive services right
here in the Valley.
Stetson Lusk BS, RCS, RVS Cardiovascular Sonographer
Stetson is in charge of the Cardiovascular Ultrasound Diagnostic testing
for Gunnison Valley Health. This testing includes: Echocardiograms, Stress
Echocardiograms, Exercise Stress Test, Carotid Duplex, Abdominal Aorta,
Renal Artery Duplex, Ankle Brachial Index, Upper/Lower Arterials, Upper/Lower
Venous Deep Vein Thrombosis, Holter Monitors, Cardiac Event Monitors,
and EKGs. All of these tests are performed in Emergency, Inpatient, and
Outpatient settings. Stetson also enjoys helping out with our patients
in Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab.
After completing a Bachelor of Science program from the University of North
Georgia, Stetson went on to complete a certificate program at Northeast
Georgia Medical Center where he received his clinical training as well
as attended classes for ultrasound. Upon completion, Stetson then went
on to be registered through Cardiovascular Credentialing International
as a Registered Cardiac Sonographer and a Registered Vascular Specialist.
Stetson was born in Georgia and lived there most of his life, but brought
his family to Gunnison in April of 2018. When not at work, he enjoys the
many different outdoor activities that Gunnison has to offer. He also
really likes to eat buffalo wings as often as possible.