What is an echocardiogram?

Echocardiograms are heart exams that use high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to produce a real-time image of the motion of the heart valves and heart chambers. The same ultrasound technology is used to examine fetuses in the womb.

Echocardiography is a low risk procedure, and can generally be performed with minimal discomfort. Often, you will hear this measurement referred to as your ejection fraction or “EF”.

What is an echocardiogram used for?

The echocardiogram is the most important test for diagnosing heart failure and determining your response to treatments. This test tells your doctor how much blood your heart pumps out (ejects) or how well your heart is pumping.

Echocardiograms are frequently used to:

  • Evaluate ventricular and valvular function
  • Evaluate pericardial disease/s
  • Assess congenital heart disease
  • Diagnose infective endocarditis
  • Diagnose disease of the ascending aorta

Did you Know?

There are more than 20 Emory Heart & Vascular Center locations throughout Atlanta, Western Georgia, Northern Georgia and North Carolina. Learn more about the Heart & Vascular Center and how to make an appointment.

Emory Clinic