An echocardiogram is also known as an echo or cardiac ultrasound. It is used to evaluate heart size, chamber sizes, wall thickness, valve function, and overall heart function. It may be ordered if there is a history of a heart murmur, heart attack, abnormal EKG, chest pain, shortness of breath, or fluid around the heart.
This non-invasive test does not use needles, drugs, or dyes. The test will be performed by a highly-skilled ultrasound technologist. A small amount of gel is applied to your chest over the area to be studied. A handheld transducer uses sound waves to produce a picture of your heart. Measurements and calculations will be performed to evaluate the size and function of your heart.