Echocardiography is a specialized ultrasound exam of the heart. It looks at the structure and function of the heart muscle and valves in a painless and non-invasive way using sound waves, much like an ultrasound exam of the pregnant uterus. The test is ordered for many reasons but typical indications would be to determine the cause of a heart murmur, to view the overall function of the heart muscle, or to look for a heart cause of shortness of breath. The test sometimes is done with the injection of a protein and fat mixture through a small IV to enhance the images. The typical test takes an hour and a half and includes a consultation with the physician who performs the test.
One great advantage we have found in having your test here at the Krohn Clinic is that the physician performing the test not only will give the technical information found to your family physician, but will make direct patient care recommendations either directly to you or directly to your family physician.