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Echocardiogram (EKG) is also known as an echo or cardiac ultrasound. It is used to evaluate heart size, chamber sizes, wall thickness, valve function and overall heart function. It may be ordered if there is a history of a heart murmur, heart attack, abnormal EKG, chest pain, shortness of breath or fluid around the heart.
This non-invasive test does not use needles, drugs or dyes. The test will be performed by a highly skilled ultrasound technologist. A small amount of gel is applies to your chest over the area to be studied. A hand held transducer uses sound waves to produce a picture of your heart. Measurements and calculations will be performed to evaluate the size and function of your heart.
1. No special preparation is needed for this test.
2. Wear two-piece clothing.
3. Allow approximately 1 hour.
4. Your physician will be notified of the results.