Echocardiogram

posted in: Heart Tests | 0

An ultrasound is a picture of the heart which shows the structure of the heart and how it is working. A pulse of high frequency (inaudible) sound is transmitted through the skin of the chest by placing a recorder (probe) on the chest wall. Jelly is rubbed on the chest first, to help make a good contact. The probe then picks up the echoes reflected from various parts of the heart and displays them as an echocardiogram – a picture on a screen.

Bats can fly in the dark by sending out pulses of sound and listening for echoes reflected from objects around them. A similar idea is used in echocardiography.

 

What happens?

A recorder (probe) is placed on your chest and a pulse of high-frequency sound is passed through the skin of your chest. Lubricating jelly is rubbed on your chest first, to help make a good contact with the probe. The probe then picks up the echoes reflected from various parts of the heart and shows them as an echocardiogram – a picture on a screen. You can see different parts of the heart as the probe is moved around on your chest.

What can the test tell?

Echocardiography gives information about the condition of your heart muscle and its valves. It is used routinely to assess people with valvular heart disease (disease of the heart valves).

It gives useful information about how the heart valves are working. The procedure does not affect the heart and does not cause any discomfort.