Exercise stress testing has been widely undertaken for the diagnosis of heart diseases. The accurate assessment of clinical conditions can be conducted by comparing the findings obtained from the results of stress echocardiography with the changes in the blood/heart rate and electrocardiograms. Numerous overseas studies have reported the utility of stress echocardiography in diagnosing myocardial ischemia; in Japan, the use of this modality for this purpose was included in the national health insurance reimbursable list in 2012. Nevertheless, stress echocardiography is far from being a widespread practice in Japan. This might be due to insufficient equipment (e.g., ergometers, space for test implementation) at each medical institution, shortage of technicians and sonographers who are well experienced and who are responsible for obtaining images during stress testing. The other possible reasons include the limited evidence available in Japan and the lack of a standardized testing protocol. Further dissemination of the practice of exercise stress echocardiography in this country is deemed necessary to establish satisfactory evidence for the use of stress echocardiography in the Japanese population. To this end, efforts are underway to develop a standardized protocol and report format to be adopted throughout Japan. We here present a guideline created by the Guideline Development Committee of the Japanese Society of Echocardiography that describes safe and effective stress echocardiography protocols and report formats. The readers are encouraged to perform exercise stress echocardiography using the proposed template for consensus document and report attached to this guideline.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging