What is an Echocardiogram? A specialized ultrasound of the heart… Echocardiography, or “Echo” for short, provides a diagnostic image that facilitates the timely diagnosis and monitoring of cardiac disease, its complications, and other health-threatening heart conditions. It is a painless test that uses sound waves to create pictures of your heart.
What does Echo diagnose? The most important uses of Echo include: coronary artery disease where plaque accumulation restricts blood flow, viral infections of the heart, structural abnormalities, heart attack, artery blockage, or in the assessment of heart failure.
Heart threatening irregularities also revealed through echocardiography include tumors and blood clots that may cause insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle, strokes, or blockage of an artery. These irregularities form the most common cause of death in most Western countries and a major cause of hospital admissions. Other diseases of the heart vessels including aneurysms, and “holes” are uncovered through echocardiography.
How is an Echo performed? Echo is conducted by passing a wand across your skin, emitting sound waves to produce a picture. A Cardiologist or trained Echo technician perform echocardiography exams under the direction of your physician. Results are interpreted by a qualified Cardiologist.