Stress echocardiography in heart failure

Eustachio Agricola, Michele Oppizzi, Matteo Pisani, Alberto Margonato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Echocardiography has the ability to noninvasively explore hemodynamic variables during pharmacologic or exercise stress test in patients with heart failure. In this review, we detail some important potential applications of stress echocardiography in patients with heart failure. In patients with coronary artery disease and chronic LV dysfunction, dobutamine stress echocardiography is able to distinguish between viable and fibrotic tissue to make adequate clinical decisions. Exercise testing, in combination with echocardiographic monitoring, is a method of obtaining accurate information in the assessment of functional capacity and prognosis. Functional mitral regurgitation is a common finding in patients with dilated and ischaemic cardiomyopathy and stress echocardiography in the form of exercise or pharmacologic protocols can be useful to evaluate the behaviour of mitral regurgitation. It is clinical useful to search the presence of contractile reserve in non ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy such as to screen or monitor the presence of latent myocardial dysfunction in patients who had exposure to cardiotoxic agents. Moreover, in patients with suspected diastolic heart failure and normal systolic function, exercise echocardiography could be able to demonstrate the existence of such dysfunction and determine that it is sufficient to limit exercise tolerance. Finally, in the aortic stenosis dobutamine echocardiography can distinguish severe from non-severe stenosis in patients with low transvalvular gradients and depressed left ventricular function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11
JournalCardiovascular Ultrasound
Publication statusPublished - Jul 30 2004


  • Diastolic dysfunction
  • Heart failure
  • Mitral regurgitation
  • Stress echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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