An echocardiogram is a safe and effective test that lets your doctor view your heart, its valves and chambers. An echocardiogram helps in the diagnosis and monitoring of heart disease.

What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram also is called an echo test. It uses sound waves to produce moving pictures of the heart and its pumping action. An echocardiogram can be part of a stress test. An echo test helps your doctor learn more about your heart.

Why is an echocardiogram done?

An echocardiogram often is used as a diagnostic tool when someone is having chest pain, chest pressure or irregular heartbeats.

An echocardiogram can look for:

  • Heart murmurs or clicks

  • Enlarged heart

  • Fluid around the heart

  • Diseases affecting the heart muscle

  • Blood clots

  • Tumors

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Congenital heart defects

Echocardiograms also check:

  • Heart wall thickness and movement

  • Heart valves and chambers

  • Heart function during surgery

  • How much blood your heart is pumping

  • How well the heart is working after a heart attack

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