What Does an Echo Test Show?


Quick Answer

An echo test, also known as an echocardiography or diagnostic cardiac ultrasound, shows all of the details of a person's heart. This includes the structure, size, movements, valves, septum and the various walls of the heart, according to The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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Full Answer

The echo test is designed to aid physicians in diagnosing, detecting and monitoring heart problems, states the American Heart Association. In some cases, the echo test is used to determine the next possible steps for treating the diagnosed heart problem. The test is performed by using a probe, also known as a transducer, that produces sound waves to create a picture of one's heart.

The echo test detects the size of the heart; high blood pressure, heart failure and leaking heart valves can all be caused by an enlarged heart, reports The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The test is also able to detect problems with the outer lining of the heart, if there are blood clots in the chambers of the heart and if there are abnormal holes between the chambers, explains The American Heart Association. An echo test does not require any special patient preparation. It is not harmful in any way, and there are no side effects

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