(It is not abbreviated as ECG, because that is an abbreviation for an electrocardiogram.) Echocardiography uses standard two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and Doppler ultrasound to create images of the heart.
Echocardiography has become routinely used in the diagnosis, management, and follow-up of patients with any suspected or known heart diseases.
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An abnormal echocardiogram: Image shows a midmuscular ventricular septal defect.
The trace in the lower left shows the cardiac cycle and the red mark the time in the cardiac cycle when the image was captured.
This test is performed in the presence of a cardiologist, registered nurse, and ultrasound technician.
Conscious sedation and/or localized numbing medication may be used to make the patient more comfortable during the procedure.
It is one of the most widely used diagnostic tests in cardiology.
It can provide a wealth of helpful information, including the size and shape of the heart (internal chamber size quantification), pumping capacity, and the location and extent of any tissue damage.
Health societies recommend the use of echocardiography for initial diagnosis when a change in the patient's clinical status occurs and when new data from an echocardiogram would result in the physician changing the patient's care.
In this case, patients are often asymptomatic for years before the onset of deterioration and the results of the echocardiogram would not result in a change in care without other change in clinical status.
Colors are used to represent the velocity and direction of blood flow.
An echocardiogram, often referred to as a cardiac echo or simply an echo, is a sonogram of the heart.
This is a noninvasive, highly accurate, and quick assessment of the overall health of the heart.