What is the exam?
This is a non-invasive exam in which images of the heart are obtained using echography. These images allow anatomical information and functional aspects of the heart to be assessed. Ultrasound refers to sound waves with frequencies above 20,000 cycles per second (Hz), which are above human hearing levels.
The echocardiogram is a supplemental exam used in cardiology to perform a general assessment of the heart.
How is it done?
For the medical diagnosis, probes are used, which generate high-frequency ultrasound waves and then capture the reflection of these waves.
During the echocardiogram exam, the cardiologist specialised in imaging manipulates the probe on the patient’s chest, directing the ultrasound beams toward the area of the heart to be studied. The ultrasound beams are reflected on each of the cardiac structures. The reflected waves, known as “echoes”, are captured by the same probe, allowing an image of that structure to be constructed. Because there is no risk of injury caused by the sound wave, this exam can be repeated countless times. It is one of the most widely used exams used in cardiology today.
For adult patients, no preparation is required for this exam. We recommend wearing practical clothing that allows easy access to the chest.