An echocardiogram, also known as “echo” for short, is a cardiac ultrasound that aids in assessing your heart’s condition. Using a device called a transducer, an echo transmits high-frequency sound waves throughout the body. As these sound waves bounce, or echo, off the structures in your body, they paint a picture that is displayed on a monitor.
In a standard echocardiogram, a technician moves the transducer across your torso. The sound waves display the heart valves and walls, as well as the how the heart champers are filled and emptied. This information informs healthcare providers if there are any problems regarding the structure of your heart. This echo can also aid in measuring your ejection fraction, or EF, which is how much blood your heart pumps with each heartbeat.
In a Cardiac Doppler test, the echo wave bounce off of red blood cells moving within the chambers of your heart, revealing the direction and speed of the heart’s blood flow and assesses the health of your heart valves.