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Digital Imaging

Stress Echocardiography

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 following:

  • 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 the following:

  • 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: echocardiogram and 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, click here.

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 970-641-7295.

Our team

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.