Skip to content
left end
left end
right end

Echo/stress echo

Scan screen

Echocardiography is an ultrasound test to look at the heart. It is commonly used to examine the heart for abnormal structure, heart pump and valve function.

The test involves placement of a probe on the chest and usually takes 20 to 30 minutes. The result of this test may not be available on the day of attendance.



Other types of echo

Stress Echo

Sometimes an echocardiogram is done while the heart is under stress - by increasing the heart rate with either exercise or medication. This test is commonly used to assess changes in the heart funtion relating to narrowing of the heart arteries.

Transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE)

This test is used when a closer look at the heart is needed. Detailed pictures of the heart are taken from the oesophagus (gullet), which lies behind the heart.

You may have a mild sedative to help you relax and an anaesthetic will be sprayed on the back of your throat. You will be asked to swallow a flexible tube with an ultrasound probe on the tip.

While the probe is in your oesophagus, it takes pictures of your heart. Once the procedure is over the tube is then taken out.

Useful information

British Heart Foundation - Echocardiogram

British Society of Echocardiography