What is an echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. This common test allows your doctor to see your heart beating and pumping blood. Your doctor can use the images from an echocardiogram to identify heart disease.
Why do people need an echo test?
The test also will help your doctor find out if there are:
- Problems with the outer lining of your heart (the pericardium).
- Problems with the large blood vessels that enter and leave the heart.
- Blood clots in the chambers of your heart.
- Abnormal holes between the chambers of the heart.
- Check if heart problems are the cause of symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain
What are the risks?
- An echo can’t harm you.
- An echo doesn’t hurt and has no side effects.