Echocardiography (ECHO)


An echocardiography (Echo) is a graphic outline of the heart's movement. During an echo test, ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves) from a hand-held wand placed on your chest provides pictures of the heart's valves and chambers and helps the cardiologist evaluate the pumping action of the heart. Echo is often combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to evaluate blood flow across the heart's valves

The test is used to:

  • Assess the overall function of your heart
  • Determine the presence of many types of heart disease, such as valve disease, myocardial disease, pericardial disease, infective endocarditis, cardiac masses and congenital heart disease
  • Follow the progress of valve disease over time
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your medical or surgical treatments
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  • Pediatric Echocardiography

Pediatric echocardiography is ultrasonography used to evaluate the anatomical structure, simple to complex congenital defects, function of the heart and planning the time and kind of the surgery.

  • Exercise Stress Echo

Stress echocardiogram is a noninvasive test used to assess the heart's response to stress or exercise and compare the results to when the heart is at rest.

The test is used to:

  • To assess how well the heart works and if the structures are normal
  • To check the heart to be sure exercise is safe for someone entering a cardiac rehab program or someone who is recovering from a heart attack (myocardial infarction, or MI) or heart surgery
  • To test blood pressure levels during exercises
  • To see the cardiac status of a person about to have surgery
  • To evaluate symptoms of shortness of breath, or trouble breathing that comes on with exercise
  • Dobutamine Stress Echo (DSE)

A dobutamine stress echocardiogram (DSE) may be used if you are unable to exercise. Dobutamine is put in a vein and causes the heart to beat faster. It mimics the effects of exercise on the heart, rest it is the same test as Exercise Stress Echo.