Ultrasound heart imaging technique.


An echocardiogram (echo) uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to make pictures of your heart. The test is also called echocardiography or diagnostic cardiac ultrasound.

The types of echocardiograms are:

  • Transthoracic echocardiography
  • Stress echocardiography
  • Transesophageal echocardiography
  • Three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography

An echo test can allow your health care team to look at your heart’s structure and check how well your heart functions. The test helps your health care team find out:

  • The size and shape of your heart, and the size, thickness and movement of your heart’s walls.
  • How your heart moves during heartbeats.
  • The heart’s pumping strength.
  • If the heart valvesare working correctly.
  • If blood is leaking backwards through your heart valves (regurgitation).
  • If the heart valves are too narrow (stenosis).
  • If a tumor or infectious growth is around your heart valves.

The test also will help your health care team find out if you have:

  • Problems with the outer lining of your heart (the pericardium).
  • Problems with the large blood vessels that enter and leave the heart.
  • Blood clots in the chambers of your heart.
  • Abnormal holes between the chambers of the heart.

What are the risks has no side effects

Echocardiograms, also known as heart ultrasounds, are typically non-invasive and require minimal preparation. However, specific instructions may vary, and it’s essential to follow any guidelines provided by your healthcare provider or the imaging facility. Here are some general considerations for preparing for an echocardiogram:

  1. Clothing: Wear comfortable clothing. You may be asked to remove clothing from the upper body, so it’s helpful to wear a shirt that is easy to take off.

  2. Avoiding Lotions or Oils: Refrain from applying lotions or oils to your chest on the day of the echocardiogram, as they can interfere with the ultrasound imaging.

  3. Eating and Drinking: In most cases, there is no need to fast before an echocardiogram. You can eat and drink as usual.

  4. Medications: Continue taking your prescribed medications unless instructed otherwise by your healthcare provider. If there are specific instructions regarding medications, discuss them with your healthcare provider beforehand.

  5. Inform the Technologist: Inform the echocardiography technologist about any medical conditions, allergies, or medications you are taking.

  6. Follow Any Special Instructions: Your healthcare provider or the imaging facility may provide specific instructions based on your individual case. Follow any additional guidelines they provide.

It’s important to note that echocardiograms are generally safe and well-tolerated. They involve the use of ultrasound waves to create images of the heart, allowing healthcare providers to assess the structure and function of the heart chambers, valves, and blood flow.

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