New guidelines on stress echocardiography released

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The Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography today released new recommendations to further support the role of stress echocardiography in accurately identifying coronary artery disease and in determining prognosis of patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease.

Due to medical advances, stress echoes can currently be used to determine if regions of non-contracting heart muscles are not contracting due to current lack of blood flow to the specific area, or due to a prior history of lack of blood flow to the specified area.

Today’s guidelines represent an evolution of the guidelines released in 1998 by the American Society of Echocardiography, because they include refinements in testing protocols, including recommendations on what information should be obtained during stress echo, and standards for image interpretation and important progress towards quantitative analysis.

Also, the new guidelines include recommendations for optimizing imaging as well as encourage physicians to utilize contrast agents during stress echo, in conjunction with harmonic tissue imaging, when two or more of the left ventricular wall segments cannot be clearly viewed.

The new guidelines are available at: