An echocardiogram checks how your heart’s chambers and valves are pumping blood through your heart. An echocardiogram uses electrodes to check your heart rhythm and ultrasound technology to see how blood moves through your heart. An echocardiogram can help your doctor diagnose heart conditions.
An echocardiography, echocardiogram, cardiac echo or simply an echo, is an ultrasound of the heart. It is a type of medical imaging of the heart, using standard ultrasound or Doppler ultrasound.
Echocardiography has become routinely used in the diagnosis, management, and follow-up of patients with any suspected or known heart diseases. It is one of the most widely used diagnostic tests in cardiology. It can provide a wealth of helpful information, including the size and shape of the heart (internal chamber size quantification), pumping capacity, and the location and extent of any tissue damage. An echocardiogram can also give physicians other estimates of heart function, such as a calculation of the cardiac output, ejection fraction, and diastolic function (how well the heart relaxes).
Echocardiography is an important tool in assessing wall motion abnormality in patients with suspected cardiac disease. It is a tool which helps in reaching an early diagnosis of myocardial infarction showing regional wall motion abnormality of the heart. Also, it is important in treatment and follow up in patients with heart failure, by assessing ejection fraction.