Echocardiography

Echocardiogram An echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. The picture is much more detailed than a plain x-ray image and involves no radiation exposure.

A trained sonographer performs the test, then your heart doctor interprets the results. An instrument called a transducer that transmits high-frequency sound waves is placed on your ribs near the breast bone and directed toward the heart.

The transducer picks up the echoes of the sound waves and transmits them as electrical impulses. The echocardiography machine converts these impulses into moving pictures of the heart. The Doppler probe records the motion of the blood through the heart. An echocardiogram allows doctors to see the heart beating, and to see many of the structures of the heart.

How do I prepare for this test?

There is no special preparation needed for this test.