A stress echocardiogram, or stress echo test, is a noninvasive procedure that helps your cardiologist to evaluate how well your heart is functioning when it is forced to beat harder due to physical stress. For purposes of comparison, a resting echocardiogram is done first. Here, a painless transducer device transmits sound waves as it is guided over the chest to produce a visual image of the heart beating on a computer screen. Next, the patient is asked to walk on a treadmill or pedal an exercise bike for a period of time during which both their heart rhythm and blood pressure are monitored. As the heart rate is increasing or when it reaches a designated level, further echocardiogram images are taken. This test shows how efficiently your heart is able to pump blood to other parts of your body. In cases where the patient cannot walk on a treadmill or pedal a stationary bicycle, an increased heart rate can be produced via IV medication.