This test is performed in the presence of a cardiologist, registered nurse, and ultrasound technician.
Conscious sedation and/or localized numbing medication may be used to make the patient more comfortable during the procedure.
The patient then walks on a treadmill or uses another exercise modality to increase the heart rate to his or her target heart rate, or 85% of the age-predicted maximum heart rate (220 − patient's age).
Finally, images of the heart are taken "at stress" to assess wall motion at the peak heart rate.
Color Doppler, as well as spectral Doppler, is used to visualize any abnormal communications between the left and right sides of the heart, any leaking of blood through the valves (valvular regurgitation), and estimate how well the valves open (or do not open in the case of valvular stenosis).
Echocardiography is performed by cardiac sonographers, cardiac physiologists (UK), or physicians trained in echocardiography.
An abnormal echocardiogram: Image shows a midmuscular ventricular septal defect.
The trace in the lower left shows the cardiac cycle and the red mark the time in the cardiac cycle when the image was captured.
Are they all you need to give or get, and do you and your partner consistently stay at the same level of intensity?
Or do you regularly strive to experience more pain, use more severe implements, or employ other means of experimentation to reach a new level?