Patient Info

Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram (DSE)

A Dobutamine stress echocardiogram (DSE) is a test to determine if there are any serious blockages of your coronary arteries.  Your doctor will advise you if you need to make any changes to your medication before the test as often you may need to reduce the dose or omit your beta blocker. You do not need to fast but it is best not to eat immediately before the test. You do not need special clothes for the test and a gown will be provided if needed. The test will be discussed with you in full by the cardiologist and you will be asked to sign a consent form.

You will be asked to lie flat on the examination bed. A small intravenous catheter is placed in a vein of one of your arms. Sticky electrodes are applied to your chest and an ECG and blood pressure check are performed. A full echocardiogram is performed at rest before the test. A water based gel is applied to the chest area to be examined and a small ultrasound probe is placed on the skin and moved slowly and painlessly over the area until all the needed images are acquired. Dobutamine (a medication to gradually speed up your heart rate) is then infused through the catheter in your arm vein. You will start to feel your heart rate increase in speed and strength and you may experience a tingling sensation in your face. You will be asked to tell the cardiologist if you experience chest pain. The cardiologist will repeatedly take images of your heart until your heart rate reaches a pre-determined rate. The Dobutamine is then switched off and you are monitored while your heart rate gradually slows.  Once your heart rate is less than 100 beats per minute you will be escorted to the waiting room and after 15-20 minutes the intravenous line is removed and you can go home. The cardiologist will review all the images and ECG’s and will send a full report to your referring doctor.     

DSE is available at our rooms in:

  • The Heart Group; 1 Gilgit Rd, Epsom
  • Northern Clinic, Southern Cross Hospital; 212-232 Wairau Rd, Glenfield
  • Ormiston Hospital; 125 Ormiston Rd, Botany

For further information please phone The Heart Group 09 623 6377