ECHO

ECHO – Echocardiography Test – ECHO Stress Test – Cardiac Services

Ultrasound is used in the ECHO test to study the heart and its various internal structures. The ECHO test is also known as Echocardiography or diagnostic cardiac ultrasound. An ultrasound device known as a transducer is used in this test to generate the sound waves that create pictures of heart’s chambers, walls, and valves. The blood vessels attached to the heart are also studied using the ECHO.

2-D echocardiography provides excellent images of the heart structures including vessels such as aorta, arteries, and veins. ECHO is used to study the heart’s movement using the generated picture known as a sonogram.

What happens during an ECHO?

In a standard echo, a small hand-held device known as a transducer is connected to the computer monitor. The transducer is placed to the heart to send ultrasound signals. The heart walls and valves reflect part of the sound waves back to the transducer. The images displayed on the monitor can be seen either in black and white or in color. The images can also be selectively videotaped or printed on a special paper. The cardiologist (heart specialist) reviews and interprets the ECHO to diagnose different kinds of heart defects..

What is stress ECHO?

The standard ultrasound ECHO (defined above) is combined with stress test to detect heart conditions. In the stress ECHO, the Echocardiogram is performed before and after the stress test. The cardiologist can determine how the heart functions when it beats harder and faster under stress conditions. It is very useful in determining the function of the left ventricle or the main pumping chamber of the heart.

What are the uses of stress ECHO?

  • ECHO stress test is useful in detecting coronary heart disease and the severity of coronary artery blockages.
  • Heart diseases that are not detected when the heart is at rest can be detected.
  • The success of bypass surgery or balloon angioplasty can be measured using this test.

How long does the test take to complete?

The ECHO test performed at our centre takes not more than 30 to 45 minutes.

Preparation

  • Do not eat or drink and keep the stomach empty for at least 2 hours before the exam.
  • Do not smoke and keep your chest free of hair.
  • Avoid exercise or physical activity on the day before the test.
  • Medicines can be taken normally unless the doctor advises against their intake.