Health Tip: What's an Echocardiogram?

An imaging system used to study the heart

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(HealthDay News) -- Echocardiogram is a diagnostic procedure that uses ultrasound waves to create images of the heart's anatomy.

The procedure uses non-invasive electrodes that are attached to the skin. The test causes no pain, and a person may eat or drink before it begins.

According to the Heart Rhythm Society, an echocardiogram can show:

  • The size of the heart's chambers, which may help doctors identify conditions such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure or damage caused by heart attack.
  • The health and quality of heart valves, including structure and thickness.
  • How well the heart is able to pump blood.
  • Any fluids, blood clots or tumors in or around the heart.

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