An echocardiogram is a safe, non-invasive procedure used to examine your heart. (And potentially diagnose problems). It uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to literally see all four chambers of the heart, the heart valves, the great blood vessels entering and leaving the heart, as well as the sack around the heart.
There are many reasons that your physician may request that you have an echocardiography examination. Physicians use echocardiography to look for abnormalities in the large physical structures of the heart, including the heart chambers and valves. An echocardiogram may sometimes also be used to look for the cause of an abnormal heart sound (a murmur), to check the size of the heart chambers, to check for fluid around the heart, or to inspect the pumping capability (the muscles) of the heart if a patient is short of breath or has complained of certain symptoms during exertion.
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