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Echocardiogram

Echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to assess the functioning and health of the heart by creating images out of sound waves. In addition to detecting many other heart problems, echocardiograms can diagnose specific heart conditions, determine if heart abnormalities exist, and evaluate the effectiveness of procedures that have been performed on the heart.

The most common type of echocardiogram is transthoracic (TTE), which is painless and noninvasive. A transducer that emits high-frequency sound waves is placed on the patient's chest; when the sound waves bounce back to the transducer, they are interpreted by a computer, and the results are shown on a monitor.