Echocardiogram (Cardiac Ultrasound)


An Echocardiogram is a noninvasive test that transmits pulses of sound (ultrasound waves) from a transducer (microphone) that produces pictures of your heart on a television type screen.


Testing to evaluate:

Heart Murmurs (abnormal heart sounds)

Size of the heart chambers

Motion and function of heart chambers

Heart valve function

Blood clots or masses in the heart

Presence of fluid around the heart

Presence of openings/holes between the chambers of the heart

Prior injury, damage to heart muscle caused by heart attack

Presence of Congestive Heart Failure and other cardiac conditions


Types of Echocardiograms: Transthoracic, Stress:


M-Mode - measures heart chamber size


Two Dimensional - evaluates shape and motion of heart structures


Doppler /Color Flow Doppler - assesses blood flow through the heart


Stress Echocardiography: performed before and after exercise to evaluate tolerance to exercise, heart problems caused by exercise and detects reduced blood flow to heart muscle during exercise/stress




  • 3 Electrodes (adhesive patches) are placed on chest by Echo Tech


  • You will be instructed to lie on your back and left side during the test. A water soluble gel is applied to the transducer to transmit pictures over various areas of your chest.


  • Slight pressure may be applied by the transducer to your chest in order to obtain quality pictures and you may be asked to hold your breath for brief periods of time.


  • Exam room will be darkened to allow Echo Tech better visibility during testing


  • Upon completion of Echo, electrodes are removed and chest is cleaned of gel


Preparation for Test: None


Time for Test: 30 - 45 Minutes


Stress Echocardiography:


  • You will be asked to review and sign a consent form for the test


  • Areas of your chest will be cleansed with an abrasive alcohol pad


  • 10 Electrodes (adhesive patches) are placed on chest


  • During preparation by EKG Technician, a demonstration of walking on the treadmill will be provided for you


  • Cardiologist performs a resting Echocardiogram, obtaining pictures of your heart while moving the transducer over various areas of your chest


  • You will be assisted to the treadmill for the Stress portion of the test


  • Stress test continues until you need to stop, you reach the target heart rate predicted for you or until the test is stopped by the Cardiologist


  • You will be assisted back to the exam table table for a repeat Echocardiogram



Preparation for Test:


  • Nothing to eat or drink 4 hours prior to test


  • Take your current medications, UNLESS otherwise instructed by your Physician


  • Wear comfortable, flat shoes/sneakers and loose fitting clothing, appropriate for exercise


  • Please bring a list of medications you are currently taking


  • No smoking on the day of the test


Time for Test: 1 Hour


Test Results: Test will be interpreted by the Cardiologist and report sent to your physician who ordered test.