What Is an Echogram?


Quick Answer

An echogram is simply another word for a sonogram, states the American Heritage Medical Dictionary. The image is called an echogram, and the procedure is called an ultrasound, elaborates the Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. The American Pregnancy Association notes that all three words are often used interchangeably.

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Full Answer

An echogram or sonogram is an image taken using high-frequency noise directed at a bodily organ, as described by the American Pregnancy Association. This kind of medical imaging is often used on pregnant women to check on the health of the fetus. It is considered a noninvasive procedure and unlikely to harm the fetus if performed correctly. However, it is only performed if medically indicated, and many pregnancies go from conception to birth without a single ultrasound.

Ultrasounds may also be performed on the heart to check for abnormalities, states the American Heart Association. This kind of ultrasound examination is called an echocardiogram, or echo. As with the standard sonogram performed during pregnancy, an echocardiogram involves a transducer placed over the organ to be imaged. It is completely noninvasive. Echocardiograms are considered harmless procedures and have no known side effects.

Whether performed on a uterus or a heart, the imagery is the same in some respects. An echogram may be two dimensional or three dimensional, depending on the technology involved, but it is always in black and white. The echogram may also be recorded as single photographs and/or as video.

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