Cardiac Doppler Echocardiogram with Color Flow
Analysis - Ultrasound of the Heart
Echocardiography (echo or
echocardiogram) is a type of ultrasound test that uses high-pitched sound waves
to produce an image of the heart. The sound waves are sent through a device
called a transducer and are reflected off the various structures of the heart.
These echoes are converted into pictures of the heart that can be seen on a
There is no special preparation for
will be asked to disrobe from the waist up and will lie on an examination table
on your back. Electrodes will be placed onto your chest to allow for an ECG to
A gel will be spread on your chest
and then the transducer will be applied.
You will feel a slight pressure on
your chest from the transducer.
You may be asked to breathe in a
certain way or to roll over onto your left side.
An echocardiogram generally is used
to evaluate heart wall thickness and
motion, as well as the structure and function of the heart valves.
Echocardiography can also be used to estimate the amount of blood pumped out of
your left ventricle with each heartbeat (ejection fraction).
Echocardiography can help identify
areas of poor blood flow in the heart, areas of heart muscle that are not
contracting normally, previous injury to the heart muscle caused by impaired
blood flow, or evidence of heart failure, especially in people with chest pain
or a possible heart attack. In addition, echocardiography can detect a blood
clot in the heart, evaluate the heart valves for abnormalities, and identify
A Doppler echocardiogram is an
ultrasound technique used to evaluate the flow of blood through the heart
chambers, heart valves, and blood vessels. The movement of red blood cells
reflects sound waves to the ultrasound transducer. Doppler echocardiograms
create a representation of your blood flow from these sound waves.
To produce blood flow images, the ultrasound computer measures the direction and
speed of the blood flowing through your heart and blood vessels by comparing
normal (stationary) echoes to the echoes that have been altered by blood
movement. Doppler measurements may be displayed in black and white or in color.
Doppler echocardiography can be done during a transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE),
a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE), or a stress echocardiogram.