An echocardiogram is a simple 30-45 minute, painless test similar to X-ray, but without the radiation. The procedure uses the same technology as an ultrasound. A hand-held device called a transducer is placed on the chest and transmits high frequency sound waves. These sound waves bounce off the heart structures, producing images and sounds that can be used by the doctor to detect heart damage and disease.

Doctors use echocardiograms to help diagnose, determine the severity of, or monitor treatment of the following conditions:
Cardiac arrhythmias, a heartbeat that is too fast, too slow, or irregular
Cardiomyopathy, thickened or enlarged heart muscle
Congenital heart defects, birth defects of the heart
Congestive heart failure or heart failure (CHF), the heart is unable to adequately pump blood throughout the body and/or unable to prevent blood from backing up into the lungs
Coronary artery disease (CAD), a buildup of plaque on the walls of the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart
Heart attack, death of a portion of the heart muscle usually due to coronary artery disease and a blood clot that blocks blood flow to the heart
Heart failure, an inability of a weakened heart to pump enough blood to the body
Heart murmurs, unusual or abnormal heart sounds heard with a stethoscope
Heart valve disease including narrowed valves, leaky valves, and infectious endocarditis (an infection of the heart valves)
Pericarditis, inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart
Pulmonary hypertension, increased blood pressure in the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs

For more information or to schedule a procedure, please call our Radiology department at (269) 686-4210.

Contact Information:

(269) 686-4210