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An echocardiogram (echo) is a non-invasive ultrasound test that captures a moving image of your child’s heart. Doctors use echocardiograms to watch the heart pump and squeeze to understand why your child’s heart may not be functioning correctly.
An echocardiogram helps the doctor detect heart defects such as:
An echocardiogram machine and its hand-held probe are designed specifically to capture images of the moving, beating heart. There are three types of echocardiograms typically offered to children:
During an echocardiogram, an echocardiogram (echo) technologist moves a hand-held probe over your child’s chest, sending high-frequency sound waves to the heart. When the sound waves bounce back, ultrasound delivers moving images of the beating heart.
On the day of your child’s exam, the echo tech will bring you to the lab to explain the process and show your child the equipment. During the echocardiogram, your child can expect to:
Echocardiograms provide immediate information on the anatomy and function of your child’s heart. The results of this test are sent to your child’s doctor immediately following the exam, and he or she will contact you within 24 hours. Riley at IU Health cardiologists work together with other specialists, such as surgeons, to confirm the results of echocardiograms and ensure that a team of experts is involved in creating the best care plan for your child.