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Cardiovascular Care

Echocardiography

Echocardiography, also called an echo test, uses sound waves to take pictures of the heart. The heart’s movements can be seen on a video screen, and a videotape or a photograph can be made of the pictures.

An echocardiography may be performed if:

  • You have a heart murmur.
  • You’ve had a heart attack.
  • You have unexplained chest pains.
  • You’ve had rheumatic fever.
  • You have a congenital heart defect.

The echocardiography will show:

  • The size and shape of your heart.
  • How well your heart is working overall.
  • If a wall or section of heart muscle is weak and not working correctly.
  • If you have problems with your heart’s valves.
  • If you have a blood clot.

Sometimes the probe needs to be closer to the heart to give clearer pictures, in which case the physician may order a special test called transesophageal echocardiography.

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