Echocardiography is the use of sound waves to generate images of the heart. The images produced using this method are called echocardiograms. Doctors use this method to assess the condition of a patient’s heart. The images help detect blood clots, clogged valves, fluids that accumulate around the heart, and blockages in the aorta. Cardiologists use Echocardiograms to monitor the heart muscles of stroke and heart attack patients.
Typically, doctors recommend Echocardiography after suspecting abnormalities in the functioning of the heart while performing routine checks using a stethoscope. For example, they often request the test for patients complaining of labored breathing and chest pains because they are telltale signs of heart disease. They may also use this method to detect heart defects in unborn babies and newborns. If the results confirm heart defects, the doctor will refer the patient to a cardiologist.