This test uses sound waves to create a picture of the heart. In a transthoracic echocardiogram, gel is spread on your chest and a device known as a transducer is pressed against your skin, sending an ultrasound beam through your chest to your heart. It works in much the same manner as the ultrasound test performed during pregnancy. (Read about "Ultrasound Imaging") The picture is more detailed than an x-ray image. (Read about "X-rays").
In a stress echocardiogram, the images of your heart would be taken before or after a period of exercise.
An echocardiogram test can be used in the diagnosis of a number of heart conditions including valve disorders, cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, enlarged heart and heart attack. (Read about "Coronary Heart Disease", "Cardiomyopathy", "The Heart & Its Valves", "Congestive Heart Failure", "Enlarged Heart", "Heart Attack")
A pediatric echo (echocardiogram) is the same painless procedure as an adult echocardiogram. Transducers are specialized for the body size of infants, children and adolescents.
Hammond-Henry Hospital Cardiopulmonary Services
600 North College Avenue
Geneseo, IL 61254