An echocardiogram (echo) is a type of ultrasound examination that uses high-pitched sound waves sent through a device called a transducer to produce an image of the heart and sometimes the aorta.
An echocardiogram measures how well the heart is working by evaluating blood flow, heart valves, and heart size, thickness, shape, and muscle movement.
The different types of echocardiograms are:
- Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE), in which a transducer is moved over different locations on the chest or abdomen.
- Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), in which the transducer is passed down the esophagus (the muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach) to provide clearer pictures of the heart.
- Stress echocardiogram, in which the echocardiogram is done before and after the heart is stressed by exercise or medicine.
Current as of: January 10, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Thomas M. Bailey MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & George Philippides MD - Cardiology