Echocardiogram, often referred to cardiac echo or simply an echo is a non-invasive test that uses sound waves to produce a moving image of the heart. This test can indicate heart chamber or valve abnormalities.
Echocardiography has become routinely used in the diagnosis, management, and follow-up of patients with any suspected or known heart diseases. It is one of the most widely used diagnostic tests in cardiology. It can provide a wealth of helpful information, including the size and shape of the heart (internal chamber size quantification), pumping capacity, and the location and extent of any tissue damage. An Echocardiogram can also give physicians other estimates of heart function such as a calculation of the cardiac output, ejection fraction, and diastolic function (how well the heart relaxes).
The advantages of echocardiography is that it is non-invasive (doesn’t involve breaking the skin, entering body cavities or any exposure to radiation) and has no known risks or side effects.
(Approximately 30 minutes)