Echocardiogram

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI
    Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI

    Daniel Lee Kulick, MD, FACC, FSCAI

    Dr. Kulick received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Southern California, School of Medicine. He performed his residency in internal medicine at the Harbor-University of California Los Angeles Medical Center and a fellowship in the section of cardiology at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology.

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What are the potential risks of having an echocardiogram?

There are no risks associated with a transthoracic echocardiogram.

The risks of a transesophageal echocardiogram are due to the sedation required to perform the procedure or, very rarely, damage to the esophagus.

What will the results of an echocardiogram indicate?

The purpose of the echocardiogram is to assess the structure and function of the heart. The results will provide information that can help the health care professional make a diagnosis that involves the heart.

Echocardiograms may be repeated over time, monitoring heart function and the results may help decide whether previous treatment has been effective and whether any changes in that treatment program are required.

Medically reviewed by Robert J. Bryg, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Cardiovascular Disease

REFERENCE:

Drake, Richard L., et al. Gray's Anatomy. 2nd ed. Churchhill Livingstone, 2009.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/7/2015

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