An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart. It offers clear, video images of the beating heart and allows the cardiologist to closely evaluate the muscle for any sign of weakness or abnormal contractions. The echocardiogram also evaluates the valves of the heart. If you suffer from leaking heart valves (mitral regurgitation, aortic insufficiency), an echocardiogram will detect it. The technology also allows cardiologists to search for any fluid in the lining around the heart (pericardial effusion) and tumors or blood clots in the chambers of the heart.
The registered cardiac sonographers at Southeast Houston Cardiology perform these tests in a period of twenty to thirty minutes. The technologist applies a small quantity of conductive jelly to the chest wall and than uses a state-of-the-art probe to obtain an array of video images of the heart. The procedure is painless and requires no needles or blood tests.