Stress echocardiography (SEC) is a technique established more than 35 years ago; however, it is still poorly implemented in many countries and institutions, and this reluctance may be related to many obstacles such as operator skills, lack of awareness or institutional policy. Stress echo was initially used for assessing coronary artery disease (CAD), with respect to myocardial viability, using wall motion response; however, current use of stress echo extends beyond CAD, such as valvular heart disease and diastolic stress test. Dobutamine is a commonly used agent when pharmaceutical approach is implemented. With regard to CAD, there are four stress responses: normal, ischemic, viable and necrotic. A low dose dobutamine protocol is recommended in patients with baseline wall motion abnormalities, and a very low dose dobutamine is used in low flow low gradient aortic stenosis in order to check the flow and contractility reserve. Of note, respecting protocols, indications and contraindications are important to avoid or minimize risks of complications during the procedure. This article presents a focused update and review regarding SEC, along with an overview of the different indications, structures and steps, and obstacles and outcomes; also the article aims to highlight more awareness and sensitization on this useful technique.
SEC é tecnicamente desafiador e seu uso deve ser restrito a centros com alto volume, e também seu uso por profissionais ocasionais em vez de especialistas pode ser acompanhado de perda de precisão. Neste sentido, o desenvolvimento desta técnica depende de uma melhor formação médica, aliada a desenvolvimentos técnicos de forma a abordar todas as situações com profissionalismo, segurança e rigor.