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Patients & Visitors

Cardiac Centre Clinics

Transthoracic ECHO

What is an Echo ?

This is an ultrasound of the heart, the test is painless, there may be some pressure from the echoer holding the transducer on the chest wall in different positions, but this is for short periods at a time, please say if there is too much discomfort, this is not the aim.
The ultrasound used is above the audible range though Doppler signals do get recorded so noise associated with blood flow though the valves does get heard during the test.

Why might I need to have an Echo?

The main reason we perform echoes is after a heart murmur is noted, though other key indications include shortness of breath, valve disease, toxic drug (Herceptin) monitoring or ventricular function evaluation.

Do I need to prepare for the test?

There is no preparation required for this test but you will need to remove all upper clothing so its easier to have a shirt or blouse on rather than removing a dress for your modesty.

What will happen on the day?

You will be invited into one of our echo rooms and asked to lay on the couch, a gown can be provided though you will still need to undress to the waist. Cold blob of jelly will get placed on the chest or probe then while lying supine on left lateral position the scan will be performed. Other positions include lying flat but this is for under 5 minutes. The test on average takes 25-35 minutes. All gel is ideally removed after the test, should some remain it is water based and easily washed out of clothing.

What will it show?

The test produces black & white moving images of the heart, some colour images are produced, these all get measured and these inform us of the size , shape and function of the heart and valves.


Cardiac Centre, 3rd Floor Central, Zone B



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