Echocardiography is also known as Echo, Cardiac Ultrasound, Doppler ultrasound of the heart, Cardiac Ultrasonography and 2D echo test. . It is a test that is used to give an image of the heart using sound waves. It can be used in conjunction with a stress test to show the heart as it beats while the patient is exercising.
Echocardiography is a very precise method to detect the hearts movement and shape. It is a non-invasive technique that uses sonar to study the motion and appearance of the valves. The patient is asked to lie down and remove clothing from the waist up. A sheet of cloth is used to cover the patient. Electrodes will then be placed on the patients body. The patient might be asked to breathe in a certain way or be asked to lie on ones side to best help the test be performed successfully. A gel is applied to the chest followed by a transducer i.e. a machine that sends and receives sound which is placed on the body over the heart and measures distance to produce the visual representation of the heart on a monitor. Only a trained Cardiologist is required to perform the test, who will best interpret the results. The test is performed for a variety of reasons: