What is an echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram, sometimes called an “echo”, is an imaging test that uses the echoes of sound waves that are bounced off your heart to create a moving picture of your moving heart, its muscles and valves. It shows how well your heart is working, as well as how large your heart is.
A small hand-held device called a transducer is used to transmit and receive the sound waves and echoes that take the pictures of your heart.
Small electrodes are placed on your chest to monitor your heartbeat.
A transducer coated with warm gel is moved firmly over your chest. This device creates the sound waves that make the images of your heart. At times, you may be asked to exhale and hold your breath for a few seconds. Air in your lungs can affect the images.
For this test, which is a non-stress echocardiogram, you may take your normal medications before the test.