Echocardiography uses standard two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and Doppler ultrasound to create images of the heart.
Echocardiography has become routinely used in the diagnosis,
management, and follow-up of patients with any suspected or known heart
diseases. It is one of the most widely used diagnostic tests in
cardiology. It can provide a wealth of helpful information, including
the size and shape of the heart ,
pumping capacity, and the location and extent of any tissue damage. An
echocardiogram can also give physicians other estimates of heart
function, such as a calculation of the
cardiac output, ejection fraction, and diastolic function.
Echocardiography can help detect cardiomyopathies, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy,
and many others. The use of stress echocardiography may also help
determine whether any chest pain or associated symptoms are related to
heart disease. The biggest advantage to echocardiography is that it is
not invasive (does not involve breaking the skin or entering body
cavities) and has no known risks or side effects.