Echocardiography is also known as an echo test. This test produces moving pictures of the heart using sound waves. An echocardiogram is a test that makes use of ultrasound waves to examine the heart. It is a safe and painless procedure that helps doctors in the diagnosis ofvarious heart problems.
An Echocardiogram helps to assess various problems with the heart and its function. It gives information regarding the heart’s structure and blood flow in a non-invasive manner.
This test is recommended if a:
- The patient experiences a heart murmur
- The patient has had a heart attack
- The patient has chest pains that cannot be explained
- The patient has had rheumatic fever
- The patient has a congenital heart defect or valve problem
During the test, a transducer (which is a small device similar to a microphone) is held against the chest. The transducer sends ultrasound waves that reflect (echo) off the various regions of the heart.
The information coming from the transducer is used by the computer to construct an image of the heart. The image is then displayed on a television screen, and it can be recorded digitally, on videotape, or printed on paper.