An echocardiogram enables your physician to assess the thickness of your heart’s chambers and valves, to determine if there are any abnormalities of motion, and to evaluate the ability of individual segments of the chamber to contract. The echocardiogram is especially helpful in diagnosing and evaluating coronary artery disease and assessing the effectiveness of treatment.
In this simple, non-invasive procedure, sound waves are passed through your chest to the heart, and the reflections, which are recorded on videotape, give your doctor an image of the heart (including its wall, chambers and valves) as it beats. An echocardiogram can provide information on the size and location of a heart attack and allows your physician to visualize any clots or masses, measures the heart’s function and blood flow, and determines the condition of your heart’s valves.
Different types of echocardiography include: