What is an echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram (also called an echo) is a three dimensional moving image of your heart. An echo uses Doppler Ultrasound technology. It is similar to the ultrasound test done on pregnant women. The echo machine emits sound waves at a frequency that people can't hear. The waves pass over the chest through the heart. The waves reflect or "echo" off of the heart, showing:
- The shape and size of your heart
- How well the heart valves are working
- How well the heart chambers are contracting
- The ejection fraction (EF), or how much blood your heart pumps with each beat.
What can I expect?