Echocardiography is a medical procedure that produces an image of a person’s heart using sound waves. It is painless for the patient and results in an image that shows the size and shape of a person’s heart muscle. It is used to see whether the valves and chambers in the heart are working properly.
This technique can also be used to isolate areas of the heart muscle that are not contracting as they should be – this can occur because of poor blood flow or the effects of a heart attack. It can also be used to detect the possible presence of blood clots in the heart and problems with the aorta, the main artery that carries blood to the heart.
A slightly different procedure, a Doppler ultrasound, can also be used to show how well blood is flowing through the heart for additional diagnostic information.