What is an Echocardiogram?

How much does Echocardiogram test cost in Iran?

Although the cost of an echocardiogram is too expensive in many countries, the cost of an echo test in Iran starts from $80.

Echocardiography is a test that uses sound waves to produce live images of your heart. The image is called an echocardiogram. This test allows your doctor to monitor how your heart and its valves are functioning.

During an echocardiogram, a doctor can see:

. The size and thickness of the chambers

.  How the valves of the heart are functioning

.  The direction of blood flow through the heart

.  Any blood clots in the heart

.  Areas of damaged or weak cardiac muscle tissue

.  Problems affecting the pericardium, which is the fluid filled sac around the heart

Doctors also use echocardiography when they want to examine a person’s general heart health, especially after a heart attack or stroke.

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Before Echocardiogram

What are echocardiograms used for?

Doctors can use echocardiograms to:

. Determine how well the heart is pumping blood

. Assess the reasons for an abnormal electrical test of the heart, called an electrocardiogram (EKG).

. Diagnose heart disease — including weak pumping or stiffening of the heart muscle, leaky or blocked heart valves, and chamber enlargement — in adults.

. Locate blood clots or tumors

. Assess the pressure in the heart to diagnose a condition called pulmonary hypertension.

. Identify congenital heart abnormalities in infants and young children

. Monitor how well the heart responds to different heart treatments, such as heart failure medications, artificial valves, and pacemakers.

A doctor will order an echocardiogram if they suspect that someone has heart problems. Signs and symptoms that may indicate a heart condition include:

. An irregular heartbeat

. Shortness of breath

. High or low blood pressure

. Leg swelling

. Abnormal EKG results

. Unusual sounds between heartbeats, known as heart murmurs

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How to prepare for an echocardiogram?

A transthoracic echocardiogram requires no special preparation.

However, if you undergo a transesophageal echocardiogram, your doctor will instruct you not to eat anything for a few hours before the test. This is to prevent you from vomiting during the test. You may also not be able to drive for a few hours afterward due to the sedatives.

If your doctor has ordered a stress echocardiogram, wear clothes and shoes that are comfortable to exercise in.


No risks are involved in a standard transthoracic echocardiogram. You may feel some discomfort from the transducer being held very firmly against your chest. The firmness is necessary to produce the best images of your heart.

If you have a transesophageal echocardiogram, your throat may be sore for a few hours afterward. Rarely, the tube may scrape the inside of your throat. Your oxygen level will be monitored during the exam to check for any breathing problems caused by sedation medication.

During a stress echocardiogram, exercise or medication — not the echocardiogram itself — may temporarily cause an irregular heartbeat. Serious complications, such as a heart attack, are rare.

During Echocardiogram

Types of echocardiogram

Doctors can order different types of echocardiogram, all of which use high frequency sound waves. The common types include those below.

. Transthoracic echocardiogram

The transthoracic echocardiogram is the most common type of echocardiogram test.

This test involves placing an ultrasound wand called a transducer on the outside of the chest, near the heart. The device sends sound waves through the chest and into the heart.

The application of a gel to the chest helps the sound waves travel better. These waves bounce off the heart and create images of the heart structures on a screen.

. Transesophageal echocardiogram

A transesophageal echocardiogram uses a thinner transducer that attaches to the end of a long tube. The individual will swallow the tube to insert it into the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth and stomach, which runs behind the heart.

This type of echocardiogram provides more detailed pictures of the heart compared with the traditional transthoracic echocardiogram because it gives a “close up” view of this organ.

. Doppler ultrasound

Doctors use Doppler ultrasounds to check the flow of blood. They do this by generating sound waves at specific frequencies and determining how the sound waves bounce off and return to the transducer.

Doctors can use colored Doppler ultrasounds to map the direction and velocity of blood flow in the heart. Blood that flows toward the transducer appears red, while blood that flows away looks blue.

The results of a Doppler ultrasound can reveal problems with valves or holes in the walls of the heart and assess how the blood is traveling through it.

. Three-dimensional echocardiogram

A three-dimensional (3D) echocardiogram creates detailed 3D images of the heart. Doctors can use 3D echocardiograms to:

. Assess valve functionality in people who have heart failure

. Diagnose heart problems in infants and children

. Plan heart valve or structural interventional surgery

. Assess the function of the heart in 3D

. Image complex structures within the heart

. Stress echocardiogram

A doctor can order an echocardiogram as part of a stress test. A stress test involves physical exercise, such as walking or jogging on a treadmill. During the test, the doctor will monitor heart rate, blood pressure, and the heart’s electrical activity.

A sonographer will take a transthoracic echocardiogram before and after the exercise.

Doctors use stress tests to diagnose:

. Ischemic heart disease

. Coronary heart disease

. Heart failure

. Problems affecting the heart valves

. Fetal echocardiogram

Doctors can use a fetal echocardiogram to view an unborn baby’s heart. This exam usually takes place at about 18–22 weeks of pregnancy. Echocardiograms do not use radiation, so they are not harmful to the woman or baby.

. Bubble echo

This is sometimes called a bubble study.

A bubble echo involves performing an echo in the usual way whilst a small amount of salt water (saline) is injected into your bloodstream, through a vein in your arm. The salt water contains tiny bubbles which show up clearly on the scan pictures, and can be a useful way to identify a hole in the heart. It may be carried out after a stroke or TIA, or after complex heart surgery.

The test is quick and painless, and the bubbles are harmless.

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During the procedure

A sonographer will perform the echocardiogram. Sonographers are healthcare professionals who specialize in using ultrasound devices to produce images and videos for diagnostic purposes.

During the test, the person receiving the echocardiogram will remove their clothes from the waist up. They can wear a hospital gown if they wish to cover themselves during the exam.

The sonographer will then instruct the person to lie on a table, on either their back or their left side. They may inject a saline solution or dye into the person’s veins, which makes the heart appear more defined on the echocardiogram.

Most echocardiograms take less than an hour and can take place in a hospital or doctor’s office.

The exact procedure depends on the type of echocardiogram. For instance:

For a transthoracic echocardiogram, the steps are as follows:

. You will need to undress from the waist up.

. The technician will attach electrodes to your body.

. The technician will move a transducer back and forth on your chest to record the sound waves of your heart as an image.

. You may be asked to breathe or move in a certain way.

For a transesophageal echocardiogram, the steps are as follows:

. Your throat will be numbed.

. You will then be given a sedative to help you relax during the procedure.

. The transducer will be guided down your throat with a tube and will take images of your heart through your esophagus.

The procedure of a stress echocardiogram is the same as a transthoracic echocardiogram, except a stress echocardiogram takes pictures before and after performing exercise. The duration of the exercise is usually 6 to 10 minutes but can be shorter or longer depending on your exercise tolerance and fitness level.

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After Echocardiogram

After the procedure

Most people can resume their normal daily activities after an echocardiogram.

If your echocardiogram is normal, no further testing may be needed. If the results are concerning, you may be referred to a doctor trained in heart conditions (cardiologist) for more tests.

If you have a transesophageal echo (TEE), you may be watched for a few hours at the doctor’s office or hospital after the test. Your throat might be sore for a few hours after the test.

You also may not be able to drive for a short time after having TEE. Your doctor will let you know whether you need to arrange for a ride home.


Information from the echocardiogram may show:

. Changes in your heart size. Weakened or damaged heart valves, high blood pressure or other diseases can cause the chambers of your heart to enlarge or the walls of your heart to be abnormally thickened.

. Pumping strength. The measurements obtained from an echocardiogram include the percentage of blood that’s pumped out of a filled ventricle with each heartbeat (ejection fraction) and the volume of blood pumped by the heart in one minute (cardiac output). A heart that isn’t pumping enough blood to meet your body’s needs can lead to symptoms of heart failure.

. Damage to the heart muscle. An echocardiogram helps your doctor determine whether all parts of the heart wall are contributing normally to your heart’s pumping activity. Areas of heart wall that move weakly may have been damaged during a heart attack, or be receiving too little oxygen.

. Valve problems. An echocardiogram can help your doctor determine if your heart valves open wide enough for adequate blood flow or close fully to prevent blood leakage.

. Heart defects. An echocardiogram can show problems with the heart chambers, abnormal connections between the heart and major blood vessels, and complex heart defects that are present at birth.

If your doctor is concerned about your results, they may refer you to a cardiologist. This is a doctor who specializes in the heart. Your doctor may order more tests or physical exams before diagnosing any issues.

If you’re diagnosed with a heart condition, your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan that works best for you.

Echocardiogram Cost

How much does Echocardiogram test cost in Iran?

Although the cost of an echocardiogram is too expensive in many countries, the cost of an echo test in Iran starts from $80.

10 common question about an echo test
Is echo test safe?: Echocardiograms are considered very safe. Unlike other imaging techniques, such as X-rays, echocardiograms don\’t use radiation. A transthoracic echocardiogram carries no risk.

What is the difference between ECG and echo?: The echocardiogram is a more advanced testing procedure in comparison to the EKG. The echocardiogram uses ultrasound, or echoing high-frequency sound waves, to create a visual image of your heart. This helps doctors view the internal structure of your heart and how well blood is able to flow through it.

What are the risks of an echocardiogram?: Risks of Echocardiogram

Intracardiac testing carries the same low risk for bleeding, heart attack, and stroke as an angiogram performed during cardiac catheterization. A transesophageal echocardiogram can include a bad reaction to the sedative and cause a sore throat or (rarely) a minor throat injury.

For what echo test is done?: An echocardiogram (echo) is a graphic outline of the heart\’s movement. During an echo test, ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves) from a hand-held wand placed on your chest provides pictures of the heart\’s valves and chambers and helps the sonographer evaluate the pumping action of the heart.

Why echo test is done?: An echocardiogram checks how your heart\’s chambers and valves are pumping blood through your heart. An echocardiogram uses electrodes to check your heart rhythm and ultrasound technology to see how blood moves through your heart. An echocardiogram can help your doctor diagnose heart conditions.

Why is 2d echo done?: Heart walls and valves reflect part of the sound waves back to the transducer to produce pictures of the heart. … A Doppler echo is often done at the same time in order to determine how the blood flows in your heart. The swishing sounds you hear during the test indicate blood flowing through the valves and chambers.

What is the difference between an ECG and an echocardiogram?: The echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart that provides moving pictures and provides information on the structure and function of the heart. The EKG is a heart tracing that mainly provides information on the rhythm of the heart. Both tests are often used in conjunction and are complimentary to each other.

Can you wear a bra during echocardiogram?: This can help get more accurate test results. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that is suitable for exercise. Men usually don\’t wear a shirt during the test, and women generally wear a bra and a lightweight blouse or a hospital gown. You should also wear comfortable walking shoes or sneakers.

Does anxiety affect echocardiogram?: An echocardiogram can lead to other tests.

A standard echocardiogram is very safe. It does not use radiation or have side effects. But the test can cause a false alarm. This can lead to anxiety, more tests, unnecessary medicines, or delayed surgery.

What is an echocardiogram and what can it detect?: Echocardiography (echo) shows the size, structure, and movement of various parts of your heart. These parts include the heart valves, the septum (the wall separating the right and left heart chambers), and the walls of the heart chambers. … Your doctor may use echo to: Diagnose heart problems.

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