Echocardiography or simply "echo" is the use of ultrasound to take moving pictures of the heart and surrounding structures. It has become a mainstay of cardiac imaging. Echocardiography allows evaluation of heart chamber sizes, valve structure and function and overall heart muscle function. It is also used to diagnose and follow progress of congenital heart disease. Echocardiography uses ultrasound waves for imaging and is noninvasive. The basic image is recorded in black and white. Color and sound may be added to reflect the flow of blood through the heart. The test is both safe and painless. An examination takes approximately 20 minutes to perform and is available at all three of our offices.
for a link describing how different types of echocardiography are performed. This site was prepared by the American College of Cardiology and includes an excellent video presentation.
for a sample of an echocardiogram.