A still-frame from a video showing an echocardiogram to observe premature ventricular contractions (PVC); OCardio_20140303_v0_002; SOURCE: Screenshot from Premature Ventricular Contractions; V1086

Definition: An echocardiogram is a test that creates a moving picture of the heart through the use of ultrasound. A M-Mode Echo allows an accurate measurement of the heart chamgers in single-dimensional images to be taken. A two dimensional Echo gives cross sectional images of the beating heart including the valves, chambers, along with major blood vessels that exit from the right and left ventricles.

Examples: The Echo test is used to look at your heart’s structure and how well your heart functions by creating images using ultrasound. The test is able to tell your doctor: The size and shape of your heart, and the size, thickness and movement of your heart’s walls.
How your heart moves.
If the heart valves are working correctly.
The heart’s pumping strength.
If blood is leaking backwards through your heart valves (regurgitation).
If there is a tumor or infectious growth around your heart valves.
If the heart valves are too narrow (stenosis). It will also help your physician diagnosis if there are: Blood clots in the chambers of your heart.
Problems with the outer lining of your heart (the pericardium).
Abnormal holes between the chambers of the heart.
Problems with the large blood vessels that enter and leave the heart.

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