Echocardiography uses high-frequency sound waves (called ultrasound) to create moving images of the heart. Doctors use echocardiograms to look at the size, shape, and motion of the heart and to pinpoint heart muscles that aren’t contracting properly. Echocardiograms can detect blood clots, fluid buildup around the heart, valve conditions and other heart problems.

How You Benefit

An echocardiogram is a painless test that allows your doctor to look at your heart in motion and diagnose many heart issues. Images generated during the test are displayed on a computer screen and can be captured and saved as video or still shots. The test usually takes less than an hour.

What to Expect

Learn more about echocardiograms, including what to expect, at our online Health Library.