An echocardiogram ("echo" for short) is a cardiac ultrasound. In cardiac care, ultrasound helps assess the condition of your heart. It uses a device called a transducer to transmit high-frequency sound waves through the body. As the waves bounce (or "echo") off structures in the body, the ultrasound transducer translates them into images on a monitor. Combined with cardiac Doppler testing (described below), an echo can also help measure your ejection fraction (EF), which is the amount of blood your heart pumps out with each beat.
There are several types of echocardiograms:
Learn what happens (and what you need to do) before, during, and after your echocardiogram:
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