An echocardiogram (echo) is a type of ultrasound examination that
uses high-pitched sound waves sent through a device called a transducer to
produce an image of the heart and sometimes the aorta.
An echocardiogram measures how well the heart is working by
evaluating blood flow, heart valves, and heart size, thickness, shape, and
The different types of echocardiograms are:
- Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE), in which a
transducer is moved over different locations on the chest or
- Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), in which the
transducer is passed down the esophagus (the muscular tube that connects the
throat to the stomach) to provide clearer pictures of the heart.
- Stress echocardiogram, in which the echocardiogram is done before
and after the heart is stressed by exercise or medicine.