The U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends that patients having an echocardiography stress test wear loose, comfortable clothing. Additionally, patients can prepare by fasting for at least three hours before the test.
Echocardiogram stress tests create images of the heart via use of sound waves. Stress echocardiograms monitor the heart before and immediately after walking or riding a stationary bike. Ultrasound images produced by the stress echocardiogram provide the doctor with valuable information, including heart size, damage to the heart muscle, heart valve problems and pumping strength, according to Mayo Clinic. In certain circumstances where the patient is unable to exercise, an injection may be given that causes the heart to behave as if exercise occurred.
A stress echocardiogram can identify if there is decreased blood flow to the heart, which may signal coronary artery disease, reports WebMD.