Who needs an echocardiogram?
Your doctor may request an echocardiogram or echo test (echo) to look at your heart’s structure and check how well your heart is working.
A physician is likely to request an echo test if you’ve had a heart attack (MI, myocardial infarct) or rheumatic fever, or if you have a heart murmur, congenital heart defect, an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia or atrial fibrillation), or unexplained chest pain or shortness of breath.
A transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) is the most common type of echocardiogram, which is a still or moving image of the internal structures of the heart using ultrasound. The probe (ultrasound transducer) is placed on the chest of the patient to get various views of the heart. It is used as a non-invasive assessment of the overall health of the heart, including a patient’s heart valves and degree of heart muscle contraction (ejection fraction).
What to expect
Wear loose, comfortable clothing with no jewellery.
You may be asked to remove your shirt. Dresses are not recommended.
This exam typically takes 60 minutes.